My dog Harry was just diagnosed with Valley Fever and I was wondering if any of you have had any experience with it so I know what to expect. Here's a little background on the whole story:
He is about 11 years old. We are not quite sure exactly how old he is because we got him from the pound a couple of years ago after he was found wandering the streets.
He is a bichon frise. Again not quite sure on that one either because he has really long legs for a bichon.
He was initially diagnosed with Kennel Cough because he had developed a dry cough after going to the groomer. It didn't go away after about three weeks and it sounded worse so we took him back to the vet. An x-ray showed that his heart was slightly enlarged and appeared to pushing on his trachea (hence the cough) and he was diagnosed with heart disease. Blood was drawn to test for Valley Fever because we live in AZ near a wash and lo and behold it came back positive.
He has lost a bit of weight (down from 19 lbs to 15.6) and is very tired, doesn't eat, and coughs all the time.
Any help is appreciated
He's a curly too
Hair Type: 3a/b/c
Last edited by FloatyTheFish; 04-07-2008 at 01:46 AM.
So sorry to hear that...here's a little info I found:
In most cases, dogs that develop symptomatic VF will require treatment with an anti-fungal medication. It;s a lengthy treatment, depending on the severity of the infection, but usually lasts 6-12 months.
You can google Valley Fever in Dogs and find plenty of information. Sounds like you're on top of it, keep an eye on him and call your vet for another appointment to se what the options are.
VF can be treated...all my best to you and your little guy.
Are you in Tucson? I think of VF as our "special" disease.
Anyway, I've seen TONS of Valley Fever here, since I've lived here for 30 years (except college, but whatever). As CinC said, he'll probably be put on an antifungal. As a small dog, he should have many more years, so has a pretty good chance. Your vet can tell you a lot, too, of course. In general, the people I've known with larger dogs had years of fighting it for them to get better, and smaller dogs recovered really quickly. I don't know if you're very familiar with VF in people, but it's very similar in dogs, in that some people get REALLY sick, and others never even know they had it. As a native, I'm sure I would test positive for VF, even though I was never diagnosed with it.
FYI for anyone unfamiliar with what Valley Fever is: It's essentially a result of the fact the desert is made to flourish with infrequent rain which comes in torrents when it comes. There are spores in the dirt, in sand, in riverbeds, all over. People/animals breathe them in, get them in their lungs, and they try to grow there. The animal body isn't really aware of how to deal with that, and can get really sick while trying to figure out how to expel everything. My guess is that a lot of the reaction is setting off histamines to try to attack it, and making you sick all over, though I'm not positive.
The pews never miss a sermon but that doesn't get them one step closer to Heaven.
I have no advice about the Valley Fever, but I wanted to say that I LOVE Harry! I have a Bichon Frise, too. He looks just like Harry (same legs) and is big for a Bichon. Ben is 13 and still going strong. I love that he is the only older dog I know that still wants to play with his toys and run around the yard. When I was younger, I used to like to make his fur look all nice since he was curly, also. I really hope Harry feels better soon!
[Update]: Harry is doing much much better and his cough is gone. He gets an antifungal pill once in the morning and once at night and he is back to normal . I put a video on youtube of his cough if any of you were curious about what it sounds like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzyudQPCdQQ
Glad to hear your cute doggie is better! My mom has a dalmation with Valley Fever. He goes through periods of remission and recurrences when he needs to go back on the medication. He's had it for 5 years or so. But in general he's doing great! The treatment can get expensive, though....
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