Valley fever in dogs is a fungal infection that is not a life threatening condition. This fungal infection in dogs
requires long treatment. This disease is unique to the southwestern
United states like California, Arizona, New Mexico and Southwestern
Texas. This disease is not just limited to humans, but also affects
their canine friends. The following paragraphs will contain some
information related to canine valley fever.
Causes of Valley Fever in Dogs Valley fever in dogs is caused by fungal spores of coccidioidomycosis.
These spores are prevalent in the dirt and arid regions of the desert.
These spores are inhaled by the animals and gain entry into their body.
Here, the spores multiply at the first site they find themselves located
within the dog's body. The lungs are mostly the site of location and
the infection begins here.
The dogs immune system can generally take care of such an infection.
However, in case of coccidiodomycosis, the spores quickly multiply and
shed new spores leading to a full fledged infection. This infection is
very common in puppies, older dogs and those animals who have
immunocompromised systems. The cocci spores reproduce and replicate
really very fast and soon valley fever in dogs turns into pneumonia.
Thus, a dog gets infected not only with valley fever, but also pneumonia
at the same time. This makes it very difficult for the dog to fight off
both the dog health problems.
The common sites of dissemination of valley fever in dogs within the
body other than lungs is liver, central nervous system. The other sites
of dissemination of valley fever in dogs includes eyes and heart muscles
in rare cases.
Symptoms of Valley Fever in Dogs Valley fever in dogs occurs in two forms: primary and disseminated
valley fever in dogs. In case of primary valley fever in dogs, the
animal develops respiratory disorders. This disease is limited to the
lungs and the symptoms of valley fever in dogs include:
Loss of appetite
Loss of energy
One may observe some or all of the above mentioned symptoms of
valley fever in dogs. With the progress of the disease, it may lead to
severe pneumonia. The cough of these dogs sounds similar to bronchitis.
When the infection is not limited to the lungs, it leads to systemic or
disseminated valley fever in dogs. This form of valley fever is more
serious than the primary valley fever. The signs of valley fever in dogs
in case of systemic condition include:
Swelling of limbs
Swelling under the skin that is similar to an abscess
The lymph nodes under the chin, in front of shoulder blades, behind stifles, are swollen
Skin ulcers that take long time to heal
Inflammation of eye with pain
Cloudiness of the eye
Most of the signs of valley fever in dogs are very rare and few are similar to other dog illnesses.
In such a case, it is always better to visit a veterinarian for
diagnosis of canine valley fever. Many dogs do not exhibit the primary
valley fever symptoms and develop symptoms related to disseminated
valley fever in dogs.
Valley Fever in Dogs Treatment The valley fever in dogs treatment is generally taken care by use of
anti-fungal medications. The valley fever in dogs treatment requires use
of about 6 to 12 months of extensive medications. In case of
disseminated valley fever in dogs, the treatment is even longer. If the
disease is disseminated in the central nervous system, that is, brain
and spinal cord, the dog requires lifelong treatment with medication.
The anti-fungal medications are in form of capsules that include
ketoconazole, itraconazole and fluconazole. Other valley fever in dogs
treatments includes cough suppressants, pain relief medications, fever
medications, nutritious dog food and good dog care.
respond well to the treatment and will show significant improvement in
dog health within a few weeks. You cannot do anything to prevent valley
fever in dogs, but try and keep him away from dirt and soil as much