Geotrichosis In Dogs
A soil fungus Geotrichum candidum,is responsible for this disease. This fungus is normally present in the mouth as well as the digestive tract of humans. It may be found in rotting organic matter too. When dogs get infected through contaminated food, they may develop this disease, but it is not very common. The symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, and breathing difficulty that worsens with the progression of the disease. Involvement of the digestive system results in lack of appetite, vomiting, and increased water intake. The dog may become jaundiced, with the color of the skin and the mouth turning yellow.
If geotrichosis is contained, anti-fungal treatment is beneficial, but widespread disease may not respond as readily. The veterinarian may decide on the kind of treatment the dog requires based on its condition.
Histoplasmosis In Dogs
Histoplasma capsulatum is the fungus that causes histoplasmosis. This non-contagious disease has a widespread distribution all over the world, particularly in places having large number of bats as well as birds. In the United States, it occurs mainly in the plains and valleys of southern and Midwestern regions. The spores of this soil fungus infect the dog’s lungs when it inhales them. The lymph nodes nearest to the lungs are also affected in the initial stage. The fungus gets access into the blood from the infected lungs and then spreads all around the body, infecting the digestive system and other organs. The eyes and the bone marrow are the two usual sites for secondary infection.
The symptoms are not very specific, and depend on the organs and tissues involved. During the initial stage, the primary infection in the lungs produces respiratory distress accompanied cough and fever. But it subsides eventually. But when the disease spreads to other organs like the intestine, spleen and liver, several related symptoms such as lack of appetite, chronic diarrhea, and anemia from intestinal bleeding may develop. The dog may lose weight and become depressed and weak. Infection of the skin, bones, the central nervous system and eyes bring about serious problems. The diagnosis, however, is based on the presence of the organism in the tissues and body fluids when tested in the lab.
In the primary stage of the disease, when the infection is localized in the lungs, it is easier to treat it with anti-fungal medications. But once it becomes disseminated, additional measures such as nutritional and fluid supplementation and antibiotic therapy may have to be implemented concurrently. The treatment regimen is expensive and lengthy, extending over several months.