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Blatomycosis Diagnosis in 3 year old Hank

562 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  GoodboyHank
Hi All!

We are avid Vizsla forum readers and have found such incredible information for Hank through his life, we're so thankful for this community and really appreciate everyone's thorough and thoughtful posts!

It's been quite a month for us Hank our 3 year old V started having trouble picking up toys, getting up on the things, and had general lethargy (sleeping until noon) which is very odd behavior for him. We took him to the vet and in the x-rays found that two of his intervertebral disks were swollen and initially diagnosed him with IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease). We were told to have him on bedrest with pain meds for 2-3 weeks. After 3 weeks and nothing getting better, and hank uninterested in short walks or anything really we sought out a neurologist specialist. His Lympnodes were incredibly swollen so the hypothesis was Lymphoma. That test came back negative so we did a full infectious disease panels, bloodwood, MRI and X-rays. We finally got to a diagnosis of a fungal infection called Blastomycosis. It's pretty rare and originates from sniffing wet soil cells - he's on an anti-fungal right now but we're not out of the woods.

I know I don't have to tell ANY of you but Hanko is our world and we are absolutely gutted by the news that he might not respond to this anti-fungal and that after this they don't have any other treatment paths. We are trying to stay positive but i'm writing to see if anyone has had or seen this diagnosis before? He is currently on Itraconazole but any information or past experiences would be so helpful.

So far we've heard garlic in moderation can helpful but haven't tried this yet. Thank you so much for reading.
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And I hope the medication is able to clear the fungus from his body.
You may have already read this. It was the most detailed one I could find.
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Thank you so much! We have not found this yet - so helpful!! Thank you!
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Have not heard about this disease before, so just sending ESP and lots of strength to beat this as soon as possible.
By any chance you guys have a veterinarian college in your area to check with them too? they may have come across more cases like this than your regular vet. i know my vet would refer me regarding something like this to A&M here in Texas.
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We haven't dealt with Blastomycosis, but it was one of the leading possibilities we eliminated a year ago with our dog. Our final diagnosis turned out to be Aspergillosis, which is a different fungal disease also associated with soils. In our case it was a localized nasal disease treated with surgery and a directly applied fungicide. After a year, we've had no relapses and no apparent lasting effects.

I'd strongly second Gabica's suggestion of finding a university affiliated vet if you haven't done so already. For these rarer diseases, it helps a lot to have someone treating who has seen the disease many times before. We worked with Tufts Veterinary school, who were excellent. If you tell us where you are in the US, someone can probably direct you better to one (somewhat) local to you.

I did lots of research for that, but have forgotten most of it. One of the things I remember is that the fungal panels aren't particularly reliable, and some can easily confuse one fungus for another. But the treatment is often the same, so this may not matter. I was also surprised by the maps showing the regional prevalence of different fungal diseases. Here's one: Fungal Infections in Wisconsin.

Good luck!
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In the past I have read up on fungal infections and environmental risks. It is highly frustrating how the fungi that cause these diseases is rather pervasive throughout the environment. It also frustrating that there isn't much to do to prevent them other than keeping your dog as healthy as possible or isolating them from being outside (which is not an option). You can do everything right and still be stricken as in your situation.

Thank you for sharing Hank's story with the community as I'm sure it will be valuable information for others that may come up against it.

Best of luck to Hank and he has our best wishes to get well soon!
Yes! We are working with the Madison Veterinary Specialists who are a sister clinic to the Madison vet school. We split out time between Wisconsin and Southern California and I know this infection if prevalent in the midwest.
Totally Fungal infections are so tough - best case he can get this resolved in the next 4-6 months with possibility to relapse. Hank LOVES to sniff dirt so it make sense for sure. That map was SUPER interesting.
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