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Blastomycoses And Your Pets Health

Aug 18, 2007
Blastomyces dermatitidis or "Blasto" as it is sometimes called is a very harmful kind of mold that can cause your pet to become seriously ill. It can cause pneumonia and other respiratory infections in humans, dogs, and sometimes cats.

The infections have also been known to spread and infect other parts of the body. It is a naturally occurring part of our environment, especially the outdoors, and the most common kinds of dog that become infected with blasto are hunting or sporting dogs.

Any dog that spends a lot of time outdoors is at a higher risk of being infected than a dog that stays indoors often, unless the indoor environment has a mold infestation.

Mold spores can be taken into the body either by inhaling them or by allowing them to enter the body through a break in the skin, such as when a person or animal comes into contact with soil contaminated by the mold.

Mold, when it enters the body and is heated to body temperature, becomes yeast. While some of us might be concerned about catching this from their dog or cat, the yeast form of the mold is not contagious and if you have a pet that is exhibiting signs of a blasto infection, you should not worry about contracting it.

There are three different kinds of blastomycosis and these are respiratory, disseminated, and cutaneous. Much of the time all three of these conditions appear in the same animal or person at the same time.

The cutaneous version can appear as skin lesions on the body and these lesions can be caused by the mold spores going into the body through a cut or other sore and are characterized by itchiness. They are also typically wet and if left untreated, can do a lot of damage to surrounding tissue and bone.

The most serious form of blastomycosis (and unfortunately, the most common kind) is pneumonia. The treatment for this is usually expensive and it can take up to six months to clear up the infection, so it is important to catch this disease as early as you can. If you suspect that your dog might be sick with pneumonia (watch for coughing), take him to your veterinarian immediately and have a physical done.

Sometimes these infections are misdiagnosed and receive antibiotics instead of the antifungal medication that it needs. It might be diagnosed as blasto too late, especially if the case involves pneumonia.

Blasto yeast cells can be identified if sores on the skin, if they exist, are swabbed and the contents of that swab looked at under a microscope. Extracting fluids from lymph nodes with a needle can be another option.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
water damage restoration companies and
Dallas Residential Water Damage Restoration Contractors
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