Blastomycosis

Discussion in 'Upland Game hunting, Dogs and dog training' started by kek25, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. kek25

    kek25

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    I received an e-mail today suggesting a fungus called Blastomycosis may be killing canines in Michigan. The e-mail lacked references, so I don't know if this is old news or news at all, but I'm throwing it out for discussion in case it's something we need to be concerned about.

    Does anyone have anything to add for confirmation/clarification of this issue? The e-mail I received indicates this fungus grows in wetland/swamp areas, and if inhaled by a dog, spreads to the lungs and throughout the body in a matter of days.

    The e-mail I received suggests veterenarians in Michigan are seeing cases at the present time. Can anyone support or refute this info??
     
  2. SteelSearchin

    SteelSearchin

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  3. NEMichsportsman

    NEMichsportsman Premium Member Mods

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    I asked our friends at the MDNR Disease Laboratory...they are great resource here at MS!
    Check back for additional details.
     
  4. PAbuck

    PAbuck

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  5. birdshooter

    birdshooter

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  6. Tecumseh

    Tecumseh

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    Scary stuff for sure. I never heard about this before.
     
  7. lking

    lking

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    We've had cases of blasto in our area here in central WI for quite a number of years now. Many, and I do mean many, pets die from blasto just in our county each year. There have been several human deaths as well, 2 in the past week I believe. The soils around our local river systems seem to be a hot bed for blasto.

    A close friend of mine spent nearly a month in the hospital fighting blasto plus another several months recuperating at home. He nearly didn't win the battle but pulled out of it. I'm actually suprised it has taken this long to show up in MI.
     
  8. kristie

    kristie

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    Hi all,
    I sent this thread to our pathologist and here is the information he gathered.
    MSU Veterinary Clinic: So far they have had two cases this year. This is usual, they get 2 to 3 cases a year, so no increase or decrease in cases reported.
    MSU Diagnostic Center for Pop. and Animal Health: Usually 2-3 cases in Michigan a year, haven't seen any submitted this year yet at Center. Usually deaths in dogs are chronic cases, they have been infected for weeks or months.
    Michigan Dept. of Ag.: Blastomycosis is not a reportable disease but hunters with dogs may want to contact their local veterinarian or the vet in the area they hunt and ask if there have been any recent reports. Also, risk of infection is a bit higher in northern Michigan.
    From Tom the pathologist: In the US, blastomycosis is reported more in the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri River basins, but even there, the cases occur sporadically and scattered. The organism is found in geographically restricted areas such as beaver dams and other habitats where soil is moist, acidic, and rich in decaying vegetation.
    Signs of blastomycosis in dogs that are the most common are dry harsh lung sounds from lung lesions. Other reported symptoms are weight loss, coughing, anorexia, dyspnea, lameness, skin lesions, and fever. The fungus is usually inhaled, then spreads through the blood stream. Chronic infections can show central nervous system involvement such as seizures, blindness.
    If treatment begins in early stages (mild lung involvement) a 2 month treatment with ketoconazole may be effective, or in combination with itraconazole in fulminating cases (54% effective). The prognosis is best for dogs without lung disease or with mild lung disease, is more guarded for dogs with moderate to severe lung disease, and is poorest for dogs with central nervous system involvement.
    Let me know if there are any additional questions, hope this helps.
     
  9. gregm

    gregm

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    Thx Kristie -- GOOD INFO!!!
     
  10. kek25

    kek25

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    Thanks for the information, Kristie.

    One additional question: Is growth of the fungus or risk presented by the fungus limited to a particular time of the year?

    Thanks.
     
  11. kristie

    kristie

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    The information I have doesn't list a particular time of year but says that rain, dew, or fog may play a critical role in liberating the infective conidia (asexual spores of fungus), which are aerosolized and inhaled. I would guess all seasons except the frozen ones.....
    :D
     
  12. NEMichsportsman

    NEMichsportsman Premium Member Mods

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    Thanks a whole pantload Kristie!! Great info, please pass along our thanks to the doc as well!

    Sounds like the risks are pretty minimal at the present time.
     
  13. doug-thumb of mich

    doug-thumb of mich

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    Just posting up to provide awareness for blastomycosis. It can kill both dogs and humans very quickly and is easily picked up.
    I got blastomycosis about 14 months ago on my 60 acre woodlot in thumb of Michigan while pulling a 8' yard rake with tractor...dusty environment. I just got out of lung surgery yesterday where they did a biopsy to find more info on why spots in lungs are still there after almost a year of being on drug intraconazole. It started after a bout with sinus infection which seemed like a normal thing but antibiotics didn't fix because blasto is fungal not bacteria.
    Then a giant welt on my left knee which turned into a nasty non healing ulcer wound.
    Another on elbow size of ping pong ball which had to be lanced and drained. Following was 6 months of false diagnostic work by many doctors and 4 trips to ER as the disease progresses through my body. I finally checked into a new hospital where they pushed the labs and found the problem. Long story. Painful. Not knowing.
    I wear a mask outdoors now always. Even in frozen winter blasto is still alive although less airborne. My yellow lab didn't get this but I worry about her. Send me a message if you have any questions as I am a survivor still fighting this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
    jasonmichalski and Josh R like this.
  14. Lamarsh

    Lamarsh

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    Blasto is not a new thing in the great lakes region, and nor do these cases sound out of the ordinary in terms of frequency. It is a fungal infection, and can be deadly, and my understanding is the usual cause of it becoming deadly is delayed diagnosis / misdiagnosis, because a great deal of its symptoms are similar to many other illnesses, and often get treated with anti-biotics, anti-virals and/or steroids, which are obviously ineffective to treat a fungal infection. IMO all dog owners that frequent the outdoors in this region, especially hunting dogs that keep their nose to the ground often, should know the symptoms, especially the symptoms related to the eye and skin since the other symptoms are akin to so many other illnesses, and if the dog is showing them ask your vet to consider blasto as a possibility and treating with an anti-fungal just in case.
     
  15. doug-thumb of mich

    doug-thumb of mich

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    Wear a mask when mowing the yard.
    Wear a mask when stirring up soil like grading or excavating or plowing.
    Wear a mask on atv and dirtbike.
    Wear a mask hiking in a swamp.
    I was one of those "never gonna happen to me" and "family been here over 100 years and nobody got it" or sounds like nonsense I get covered in dust all the time.
    PPE will help you. Better to be safe.
    I have some really ugly pictures.
    You don't want this. Trust me.

    The part about delay in diagnosis or treatment for wrong ailment is so true.
    If you have a strange wound on your body or your dog....insist on a biopsy.
     
    Lamarsh likes this.