New York, NY (PRWEB) April 15, 2012
A little-known toxin called Blastomyces dermatididis is a silent -- possibly deadly -- fungal organism that hides in places that pet owners often take their dogs to play. One German Shepherd, Audrey, and her family discovered this the hard way, after Audrey inhaled it during a vacation in Northern Wisconsin. She is now suffering from Pulmonary Blastomycosis, a dangerous systemic disease.
Although Blastomyces dermatididis is widely distributed geographically, the infected area may be limited to one rotting log or several square yards of infected soil. It thrives on decaying vegetation and wet soil and is usually found within 400 feet of water.
Pulmonary Blastomycosis is a very complicated disease to diagnose because it can be mistaken for other illnesses, such as pneumonia or kennel cough. As the fungal infection grows, it affects respiratory functions and can impair other organs, skin, liver, kidney, bones and brain. It weakens the immune system, which can lead to other complications. The symptoms are not the same for all dogs. Other symptoms may include lethargy, high fever, difficulty breathing, coughing, aching chest pain and flu-like symptoms. Chest X-rays, ultra sounds and blood work are needed to diagnose it.
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