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Histoplasmosis In Dogs

Histoplasmosis In Dogs - Information on Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment For Histoplasmosis In Dogs

Histoplasmosis is a fungal infection that can occur in dogs and cats.

You might wonder what histoplasmosis in dogs is but you might also know it as Darling’s disease. This fungal infection, which can also happen in men, is caused by a fungus known as Histoplasma capsulatum. This fungus is found wherever bird litter and bat caves are found. In nature this fungus appears as a brown growth and turns to yeast once it has infected the dog.

This yeast, in turn, causes histoplasmosis.

There is no specific breed that is more likely to get infected. When you take your dog outdoors you just need to be more careful and prevent your dog from going into areas where there could be bird litter.

Symptoms of Histoplasmosis In Dogs

The primary areas of infection in dogs are lungs or the gastro intestinal tract depending on whether the dog inhaled the spores or ate it. The symptoms of histoplasmosis in dogs depend on which system in the body the infection attacks. The dog could start coughing or lose weight, face persistent diarrhea or even suffer from anemia.

The dog could also show signs of nasopharyngeal infection or hepatomegaly. Enlarged tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes along with depression and lethargy are also some of the symptoms of histoplasmosis.

Sometimes a dog can develop symptoms of disseminated histoplasmosis. This means infection shows up in areas where the infection did not begin. In such cases the dog might suffer through retinal detachment, polyarthropathy and chorioetinitis. In acute cases, the dog might even develop ulcerated sores around the eyes. Elevated heart rate and elevated respiratory rate are also indications of an acute infection. Diagnosis of this infection is done through a series of tests like blood work, bone marrow examination and even rectal scrapings and cultures.

Treatment For Histoplasmosis In Dogs

The treatment for histoplasmosis in dogs usually is done with drugs. Antibiotics are prescribed by the vet for different durations depending on the severity of the infection. Antifungal drugs are a common method of treatment. The doctor might also prescribe nutrients so that there is better absorption of drugs. Once the first round of treatment is administered, the doctor might ask that you take better care of your dog’s routine. Ensure cleanliness and avoid the recurrence of infection. A dog also needs proper rest and care during recovery. Avoid stressing the dog and keep his cage and bedding clean. Good nutrition and proper food is also a must during treatment for histoplasmosis.  

  Submitted on February 14, 2012  

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