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April 19th, 2006, 10:43 AM
I am trying to get more information on blastomycosis, the fungal infection that nearly took our shih tzu from us!

As a bit of background......beginning of Jan 2006 Harley (age 3) started losing weight, became lethargic, unbalanced, didn't eat or drink. I took him to his Vet right away who treated him for a lung infection/pneumonia. AFter two weeks, Harley was getting worse, so we were referred to a specialist (in Ottawa) who diagnosed our HarleyDude with Blasto. (lung aspirations, blood work thru Cornell University, various tests). That was on January 23rd! Harley is still on medication (sporanox) and doing extremely well.

My question is......has anyone else had to deal with this deadly infection? If so, how is your puppy doing? Do you live in the same area as I? Do the spores which cause the infection survive year to year in the earth? I have been told that Harley could relapse or inhale another spore, which would start the infection again. Unfortunately, if this happens, I cannot afford to go through the treatment again.

I would appreciate all feedback and if anyone is interested in learning more about blasto, please just let me know.

April 19th, 2006, 12:36 PM
I'm glad to hear that Harley is doing better and is on the road to recovery. I did a bit of research for you on Blastomycosis and found a few websites that may help answer some of your questions.

Hope these help.

April 19th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Thanks BeagleMom for the links. I think I have checked out every website on the WWW. I have even written to Cornell University and another University in the States that was recommended. I have spoken with Soil experts, soil researchers and Agriculture specialists and no one can confirm or deny whether the spores can survive a Canadian winter. Harley's condition is very rare in our area....only 3 cases in the last 15 years and all further north. However, another dog did die in Feb 2006 and the Vet won't tell me any details. Blasto is contracted by dogs sniffing in soil, and a spore lodges in their lung area. Last fall we had a load of soil delivered to our house to do some landscaping, so of course, we are feeling very guilty that we gave our poor Harley this infection.

I won't rest until I am sure that my HarleyDude cannot contract this infection again.... :sad:

April 19th, 2006, 02:27 PM
I can understand why you feel guilty, but it was not your fault. You had no way of knowing that something like this would happen.

Have you tried contacting your local university? I have provided a link for the Veterinary Universities here in Canada. Maybe they can help you.

As far as I know, many spores are very resilient and can remain dormant for some time until just the right conditions are met. From the research that I've done, this one apparently is common in certain areas of Canada.