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Old September 4th, 2008, 04:16 AM
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Anyone's pet out there had nasal fungus - my dog is dying from it

Has anyone out there encountered these symptoms, knows anything about the destruction caused by nasal fungus (aspergillosis) - your comments will be greatly appreciated.
Sib Husky - 2 years old, perfect health until,,,,,,,
Nose pouring with mucus, green, white, green, pink - right nostril only.
Lethargic - off his food, on his food, off his food.
Vet prescribes antibiotics and anti imflammatories
Same story for another week. Nothing is working.
Massive nose bleeds lasting up to 20 minutes.
Back to the vet. Maybe a foreign body?
Xrays - nose flushes - earscopes. Nothing there.
More antibiotics, more anti-inflammatories.
Another week of monitoring....
Another week of massive nose bleeds - again - all from the right nostril.
Vet advises to see a specialist. The night before the appointment, Kai started twitching around the muzzle on the right side. Also his actual nose started twitching.
Two days ago we take him to the specialist and a rhinoscope was performed. This is what he said afterwards:
He cannot beleive the massive amount of destruction taken place inside the dogs nose. It looks like a typical fungal destruction. Almost everything is dead tissue.
He can see sites of haemorrage with the camera(so confirming the source of the nose bleeds).
Damage has blocked the blood vessels to the actual nose, causing discolouration (we thought it was him licking the runny nose constantly and it was giving him snow nose).
Damage to the nerve endings which is why the eye and side of mouth is twitching.
He is convinced it is fungus - however this is what is freaking me out: can find or see NO actual of fungi (colonies i think he called them).
He can find no tumor.
He can find no foriegn object.
He took a biopsy and a culture.
He put in an unbeleivable expensive antifungal treatment under anesthetic and turned him every fifteen minutes to distribute the treatment evenly and thoroughly. Even though he couldnt find presence of fungus - the damage points to fungus, so he thought he would do it anyway.
There is not a great success rate in killing fungus like this apparently from info gained from surfing the web. The only chance he has is for this treatment to work and kill the fungus to allow new tissue to regenerate.
He has taken a sample to send off but battled to find live tissue as everything was dead. Otherwise it spreads to the brain and the rest of the face.
There is a lady who had identical symptoms on this site for her cocker spaniel with exactly the same outcome /scope and vet said fungus - but the pathology came back as cancer.
Can you maybe tell me - if a fungal disease has ravaged the inside of his nasal cavities and everything else so badly and caused 'massive destruction', how was he not able to find one colony or presence of any fungus???
Something else is the underlying cause of this.
The poor bugger is now on antibiotics and rimadryl (sic) and we wait.
This cost R7000 yesterday ($1000) and the xrays and everything else - all the faffing around with three different course on antibiotics and xrays and flushes was around R5000 ($500). Thats the average persons (in Cape Town) salary.
Does anybody know the prognosis for dogs with such destruction by fungus. If this treatment doesnt work it can spread to the bone and the brain and he has to be euthanased before that happens as it will change his behaviour and i cant let that happen to my big strong gentle boy.
Whats killing me is how much pain he must be in - surely destruction like that must be awfully painful (ive had sinus infection and i wanted to put my head through the nearest wall) so what must that be like for him. This strong, white, proud, stubborn, clever, beautiful husky that people stop on the street to admire at only 2 years old is being reduced to a sliver of his former self. Its soul destroying.
Nobody else has heard of this including our dog trainer. We dont live in a tropical climate in Cape Town, we are one block from the beach. The only possibility is he went to doggy daycare when we went away for a weekend and its on a small farm. Apparently they can get this fungus from spores in chicken/pidgeon/duck poop and cattle can transfer it also.
Your input/experience/expertise or prior knowledge of this will really help me - i need to hear from other people who have had this and see if the treatment worked.
It goes without saying i am broken hearted but dont want to give up on him yet.
Thanks
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Old September 4th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Ive done everything i can - has nobody heard of this ever?
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:05 AM
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I'm so sorry for what you and your poor boy are going through. I've got no experience with the kind of situation that you're going through, but I do understand the frustration of misdiagnosis, going through lots of tests and procedures, etc. It really sounds like you're doing everything humanly possible, and more than a lot of people would be willing to do. Big hugs to you
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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So sorry to read this. I have no words of wisdom to offer you at all, only my heartfelt sympathy for what you are going through and how it must be tearing you apart. Be strong for your boy and with lots of love, treatment and pawsitive thoughts perhaps he will pull through this. Bless you for being willing to try to save him when so many people would not go the extra mile for an animal. But we here know our beloved pets are more than mere animals, they are part of our families, and our lives, and our souls. Good luck with the treatment, please keep us posted.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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While I don't have any experience with this, I did find this on the net:

http://www.peteducation.com/article....&articleid=233

What is the treatment for aspergillosis?

There are two forms of treatment, topical and systemic. For systemic treatment, oral antifungal drugs such as itraconazole or fluconazole are usually used. The cure rate with these products is at best 70%. An alternative approach is periodic infusions of the topical antifungal drug enilconazole through surgically implanted tubes. The success rate for this treatment is reported to be as high as 90%. This treatment can be labor intensive, messy, and not well tolerated by the dog. A newer approach to the topical treatment has been to anesthetize the dog and infuse the topical antifungal agent clotrimazole (Lotrimin) under pressure into the sinus cavities. One study showed a 94% success rate in dogs with this one time treatment. The intranasal infusion with clotrimazole may soon become the treatment of choice for this disease.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Since you said that your poor boy was given this antifungal treatment, perhaps it is the one they've had the 94% cure rate with? I certainly hope so.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai'smom View Post
Has anyone out there encountered these symptoms, knows anything about the destruction caused by nasal fungus (aspergillosis) - your comments will be greatly appreciated.
Sib Husky - 2 years old, perfect health until,,,,,,,
Can you maybe tell me - if a fungal disease has ravaged the inside of his nasal cavities and everything else so badly and caused 'massive destruction', how was he not able to find one colony or presence of any fungus???
Something else is the underlying cause of this.
I am so sorry to hear about your pet's problems. Fungal infections (aspergillosis, crypto, histo, etc...) can all be very, very frustrating to say the least; and very scary!

It would seem logical that a fungus that can cause such wide spread damage would not be hard to localize but unfortunately sometimes it can be. Sometimes the diagnosis is made by ruling everything else out. And by 'everything else' usually cancer is the main differential we are looking for. There are only a few things that can destroy the bone this way. We are usually left with cancer, bacteria and fungus. After heavy duty antibiotics we often feel bacteria is less likely and with his age and 'negative' biopsies, we then place fungal infections high on the 'index of suspicion'. Sometimes we are lucky and actually find the organism. Blood titers are generally fairly good at identifying patient response against the fungus however a negative titer does not rule out a fungus because some patients do not respond against the fungus.

I assume your pet is on a high dose of an antifungal such as fluconazole? I have had several patients over the years that had to have sinus flushing where a hole was drilled into the skull and antifungal flushing was performed.

Obviously the concern is the location of the fungus or disease in relationship to the brain. The cribiform plate separates the sinus cavity from the brain. Unfortunately the only method of monitoring this bone plate besides clinical signs (seizures, dementia, stupor) is MRI scanning.

Obtaining input from a specialist would be my recommendation. There is no time to waste with bone destructive sinus lesions regardless of their etiology.

I hope this helps. If you have further questions, please feel free to PM me.

Best of luck.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:34 PM
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My pussycat was diagnosed last spring with a fungal infection, in her case, it was in her spine. Same type of cause - bird feces - either inhaled or ingested somehow. Apparently this is more common in dogs than cats, and the survival rate for dogs was told to be way better. We were pretty much told she had below 50% chance to survive.

We did antibiotics and two different types of anti-fungals, along with pain medication all spring & summer. When she wouldn't take meds by mouth, we learned to inject her from the vet; whom also told us there would be no quick fix and that we'd have a long, difficult treatment process. She had very visible lumps under the skin along her spine, and 2-3 of them were surgically removed and sent away for pathology in the early fall last year.

When the results came back the lumps were clear of fungus! The vet said by that time we had worked so hard with her & the meds, that we had managed to kill the fungus. She returned to her old self, more or less, and we were overjoyed. She was off all the meds last fall.

Now, I'm sorry to say, the damage the infection did to her spine was permanent and we did have to put her down this past July.
But for the remaining months we had her, we loved her to the hilt.

All I can say is, I'm so sorry you're facing this, it truly is a horrible disease.
You do the best you can for your furry friend ...

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Old September 4th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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PetEducation.com has lots of info, if you google "fungal infections in dogs" it'll probably give you a full list. I read everything I could, and shared the info with the vet even ... the research helped, to be aware of the various meds & treatments, but it was also very, VERY disturbing. In the end, it really wasn't helpful to try to to pinpoint exactly which strain of infection it was.

Itraconazole was the 2nd round of anti-fungals we used, more expensive but better success rates.
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Old September 4th, 2008, 10:21 PM
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Kai'smom, I'm sorry to hear about Kai, but glad that you finally got a diagnosis.

for a good outcome! that the antifungals work quickly for your sweet boy!

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Old September 5th, 2008, 03:27 AM
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You totally correct the last procedure mentioned was the one he was given. Its got the best prognosis. His nose is still dripping a pink mucus. He is on antibiotics for secondary infection from the procedure and we will know in 2 weeks if it has not worked. Its just not fair.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Thankyou

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and kind words. Waiting seems worse than anything else. Many thanks again, i cant tell you how much having others to share the load has made it easier to bear.
I shall make sure i let you all know what happens. I have found on this site that there are a lot of people who come on and list their conditions/symptoms etc, get advice and then never come back. It would be really helpful if people actually gave the outcome good or bad as then we can learn from past experiences. So will let you know and will find out the exact name of the antifungal drug used during anesthetic. Apparently it has a 90 odd% chance of success. Great Odds!
Best wishes from a wet and cold Cape Town.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 08:32 AM
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for you along with and some
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Old September 6th, 2008, 01:26 AM
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Sooo sorry to hear of your dog's ordeal, kai'smom. I came across your thread when I started to post my own-with some similarities...hopefully whatever they each are afflicted with, both our dogs will have a positive outcome .
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Old September 6th, 2008, 02:45 AM
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Just wanted to send some & for you & Kai
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Old October 18th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Max & Mishka Max & Mishka is offline
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Aspergillus

Hi, I understand full well what your going through, I've just lost Mishka about 8 1/2 years old Siberian Huskey to Aspergillus after 6 months of fighting it being otherwise fit and well.
Mishka underwent drilling of bur holes into the Sinuses and packing with itraconozole as well as nasal cavity douching (give the dog a GA and then infuse an itraconozole solution and keep it there for an hour whilst the dog is under) which she had an uneventful recovery and seemed to have been successful then after about a month the symptoms returned.
The followed another month of oral fungicides upto and including the maximum dose making her feel very lousy and inflaming her liver turning her faeces bright orange.
Finally she seem to give up, not wanting to exercise, then stopped eating and then end became inevitable and we had to put her down, truly the ****tiest day in my life to date.
Her symptoms started off with a clear discharge, which then quickly coloured up and became green and yellow. Unfortunately initially a bacterial infection was suspected and antibiotics prescribed, which with fungal infections does not help and can make things significantly worse.
Her coughing became worse as the nasal discharge drained down the back of the pallet and then the eyes began to weep.
Early detection and treatment is paramount to a successful outcome, unfortunately we were too late.
I have heard about a link specifically to coniferous trees, particularly because of the dense foilage being an ideal breeding ground for this fungus which is usually found on rotting plant matter.
This may not be a lot of help, but keep with it as long as Kai wants you to I would still say the surgical option is still your best chance of success and I would take that route again, (but at an earlier stage next time)
Good luck
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Old October 18th, 2008, 05:10 PM
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Max&Mishka, unfortunately Kai passed away a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for your input tho.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 04:20 AM
Ameade44 Ameade44 is offline
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Did you ever find out what was wrong with your husky. My husky has all of the same symptoms and I am worried.

Last edited by hazelrunpack; December 17th, 2013 at 12:11 PM. Reason: no personal emails, pls.
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Old December 17th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Ameade44, unfortunately this is a very old thread and many of the participants are no longer regulars on the board. I think if you start your own thread about your dog you'll have better luck getting some replies from current members.
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Old December 18th, 2013, 02:30 AM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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You also want to include what testing has been done in your post.
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