Blastomycosis - Symptoms & Treatment
Blastomycosis is an infection found in dogs, people. It is caused by the fungal organism Blastomyces dermatitidis. It may serve as an indicator of human disease because of the shared environment. Blastomyces dermatitidis is a dimorphic fungus. The mycelial form grows as a white mold. The conidia (spores) that convert to yeast are infectious to humans. The epidemiology is incompletely understood because of the lack of a sensitive and specific skin test and difficulties in establishing the ecologic niche of the organism in nature. The mold occurs in sandy, acid soils near river valleys or other waterways. Endemic in Ohio, Mississippi, and St. Lawrence river valleys, the Great lakes region, and along the eastern seaboard, veterinarians report blastomycosis more frequently in the fall. Blasto grows in two ways. One form, called the fungal form, occurs in the environment and the organism creates microscopically tiny spores that, once airborne, are able to pass far into the depths of the lungs.
Blasto is easily inhaled into the dog's lungs. Landscaping soil and even potting soil can harbor Blastomycosis organisms and any cat or dog digging up these soils may be exposed to Blastomycosis. Blastomycosis of the skin appears as enlarging raised lesions with ulcerating centers. Infective spores are more likely to be present in organic soils such as are present along streams, lakes, ponds and even within the dried mud mortar of beaver lodges. These usually occur on the exposed parts of the body, including the face, hands, wrists, feet, and ankles. In more severe cases, blood-borne fungal lesions may also occur in bones, the prostate gland, testes, and kidneys. Blastomycosis develops when spores of the B. dermatitidis are breathed in and establish a primary infection in the lung. In nature, the fungus probably resides in the soil in decaying foliage and vegetation.
Causes of Blastomycosis
Common causes of Blastomycosis
- Weakened immune system.
- Fungus grows.
Symptoms of Blastomycosis
Common Symptoms of Blastomycosis
- Shortness of breath.
- General discomfort.
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Joint stiffness .
- Muscle stiffness.
- Skin lesions.
- Chest pain.
Treatment of Blastomycosis
Common Treatment of Blastomycosis
- Blastomycosis has been amphotericin B. It is still the best choice for acute, life-threatening illness, and treated dogs show improvement in three to five days.
- Ketoconazole given orally twice a day has been effective against blastomycosis. Although it may take 10-14 days to see clinical improvement with this drug, it may be useful in a dog with poor kidney function and a mild form of the disease
- Itraconazole is the newest drug used to treat blastomycosis. It is given orally twice a day at first, then once daily for 60-90 days.
- Avoiding travel to areas where the infection .