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Fungal Infection in Dogs

Fungal Infection in Dogs

This article is a layman's guide to the various fungal infection in dogs along with its causes and symptoms. This infection can be triggered due to various factors, and there is no certain way of knowing unless the animal shows some signs.
DogAppy Staff
Fungal infection is a different set of dog illnesses. Due to controlled breeding, certain breeds are prone to some fungal diseases. Early detection of symptoms is of utmost importance. The sooner the treatment for the infection starts, the better. Given below are some common fungal infections that canines are prone to.
Blastomycosis
This is one of the fungal diseases that thrives either as a mold in the soil or as yeast. It is mostly common in wet areas such as lakes and rivers. This disease develops from lesions on the skin to pus-filled wounds. Early detection is a must for the chances of recovery to be high. The most prominent symptom in dogs is the development of pus-filled boils with yellow scabs. The dog's lymph nodes will enlarge and it will have a fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. It also affects the urinary tract and leads to blood in urine and stool. If the infection spreads to the eyes, it leads to a growth over the eyes, eventually leading to blindness.
Cryptococcosis
It is a systemic fungal disease caused due to inhaling fungal yeast spores. Yeast spores are also responsible for fungal ear infections. This yeast flourishes in an area where the soil is enriched by bird droppings, especially of pigeons and poultry birds. It first shows up as lesions on the chest, legs, and face. It spreads through the central nervous system, affecting the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas etc. Once the infection reaches the brain, chances of recovery are limited. Fever, nasal discharge, and cough are other symptoms of this infection. The lesions caused by this disease resemble cancer if seen in an X- ray.
Histoplasmosis
Histoplasmosis affects the respiratory system and the lymph nodes. This fungal virus thrives on bat droppings. In most cases, it is self-eliminating, but if the infection progresses, there is little that even an anti-fungal medicine can do. It is non-contagious, though causes diarrhea in infected dogs. The symptoms include enlargement of the liver and spleen, along with fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing. It leads to lameness, changes in the skin, lethargy, and yellow discoloration of the gums.
Coccidioidomycosis
It is better known as valley fever. This is highly dangerous, although not contagious. This is caused due to inhaling of infected spores, and it spreads from the lungs to other parts such as bones and eye tissues. Most dogs are naturally immune to this disease. The symptoms are extreme weight loss, fever, and nasal discharge. It leads to lameness and extreme pain in the joints along with swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms show after several months of contracting it.
Treatment
The main treatment is antifungal drugs and antibiotics. The diet needs to be one that helps the dog strengthen its immune system. Since the symptoms often show after the disease has progressed, it is best to take preventive action. Keep your dog away from areas which foster these infections, to ensure good health.
The best treatment for the pet is early detection of the symptoms. By nature, all animals are curious and dogs have a knack of being where they are not supposed to be, so take care if you know that your pet is at a high risk of catching these infections.