Saturday, April 28, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Blastomycosis, Ear Problems, and more ...

Blastomycosis – A Potentially Lethal Fungal Infection

Dr. Christopher Byers/CriticalCareDVM

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Blastomycosis, Ear Problems, and more ...

Last year, our vet had a dog die to blastomycosis. This disease isn't usually a problem where we live but last year it was. The summer was very wet, conditions in which fungi thrive. When a fungus invades internally, it can be just about as bad as cancer.

Blastomycosis in the lungs. Photo Walden Animal Hospital

While normally rare in our area, in some parts of the US, fungal infections are, unfortunately, quite common.

To make things worse, the potential symptoms could be chalked up to other things. They include changes in appetite, weight loss, depression, coughing, labored breathing, lameness, skin lesions, nasal discharge ...

This can make getting the right diagnosis early difficult. I believe, if your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, and particularly if you live in the endemic areas or weather conditions are favorable, to always include blastomycosis on the differential diagnosis list.

For more detailed information about this, potentially fatal, fungal infection, read Dr. Byers' article.

Related articles:
Blastomycosis: Kane's Lost Battle

Holistic Approach to Ear Problems

Dr. Peter Dobias

Ear infections are plaguing the dog world and treating them can be a daunting task. Many dog parents, once the problems start, find themselves in a never-ending war. Is it because allergies are usually at the root of the issue? If both ears are affected, that is most likely so.

Our guys, other than Cookie's one-time mild infection, have not had any ear problems. It was one of the reasons I was never sold on the idea that allergies were behind some of Jasmine's issues such as pacing, panting, and licking her front paws. She was never an itchy dog, she never had any ear issues ...

In his article, Dr. Dobias uses a client's story to explain how this problem could be tackled holistically.

Related articles:
Angry Vet on Ear Infections (Part I)
Angry Vet on Ear Infections (Part II)
Phoenix's Chronic Ear Infections

The Most Important Question in Dog Cancer

Dr. Demian Dressler/Dog Cancer blog

When your dog gets diagnosed with cancer, there are a hundred questions on your mind. How did this happen? Is it my fault? Can it be treated? What is the prognosis? ...

Yet, Dr. Dressler points out that the most important question that needs answering has nothing to do at all with any of that. According to Dr. Dressler, the question you should ask yourself first is, "Who am I?"

Sounds pretty weird, doesn't it? Surely your dog's cancer diagnosis isn't the starting point on the journey of self-discovery?

Well, no, you should already know who you are. Hopefully. So what is up with that question?

The Dog Cancer Survival Guide outlines three different types of people.

  • Type A folks tend to value longevity more than life quality. They want life quality, of course, but they feel side effects will be OK as long as the outcome is more time with their dog.
  • Type B people tend to balance life quality with longevity. They definitely want their dog to live as long as possible, but they are much more likely to stop treatments if side effects get too graphic or difficult for their dogs.
  • Type C dog lovers tend to value life quality over longevity. They focus on comfort and life quality and usually opt for less treatment, rather than more.

Are you starting to see the point of being able to answer that question?

Read Dr. Dressler's article to learn more.

Grabbing The Dog Cancer Survival Guide was the first thing I did after JD was diagnosed with mast cell tumor.

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