Dog Valley Fever can stop the hearts of dog owners and lovers as it has been referred to as the dog plague of the twenty first century.
It can and has killed thousands of dogs and it does not discriminate between breeds, age, or sex.
It is and most likely will remain extremely dangerous, especially in the Southwestern parts of the U.S. and in similar desert regions throughout the world.
It is almost impossible to escape this fungus in desert regions, but it is not impossible to protect your dog and build their immune systems with a few critical supplements.
Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Southeastern portions of Texas have literally been hit with several cases of this potentially fatal fungus and it seems to be growing.
This fungus is extremely dangerous as it is carried by dust particles and just inhaling these particles can infect your canine friend.
It can also be absorbed through your dog’s skin, although very rare, from an extended period of exposure to dirt that may be infested with this fungus.
A fungus by definition is any types of numerous organisms that exist in the Fungi family, lack both chlorophyll and vascular tissues, and can vary in size of a single cell to a body of mass filamentous hyphae.
In most cases they can branch off and often produce special varieties, or fruiting bodies.
They can come from yeast, smuts, molds, or mushrooms.
Dog Valley Fever is caused by a fungus that lives in very arid soils, particularly the desert southwest in the United States.
Its life cycle is that it grows first in the soil, matures, and then dries into very fragile strands of cells.
These strands are extremely delicate, and when they become disturbed, usually by the high winds in the desert, will than break up into very tiny individual spores.
These spores are referred to as arthrospores which is an asexual spore that is produced by separation and fragmentation.
This fragmentation is what makes this condition especially dangerous.
Your dog can catch dog valley fever simply by inhaling this fungus in the air and they may inhale only a few of the spores or several hundreds of them.
What makes this condition so dangerous is that once the spores are inhaled, they grow into spherules, or very small spheres, which will continue to grow until they eventually burst.
Once they burst, they release hundreds of endospores, which also start to grow and attack your dog’s lungs until their immune system surrounds and destroys it.
Dog Valley Fever occurs when your dogs immune system cannot kill the spherules and thus they continue to spread.
At this point, they will continue to spread in your pet’s lungs and if it is severe enough, it can spread into the dog’s entire body.
This fungus can also affect humans, horses, and cats, although cats seem to have a much stronger resistance to this fungus than dogs.
Dog Valley Fever is not contagious to other family pets or people, as it can only be caught by this environmental process.
What also makes this condition especially dangerous to your dog is that at first the symptoms may be very mild and can easily go totally overlooked by the owners.
Estimates have shown that over half of all dogs that are infected by these spores are able to fight off and control the infection, while the other half cannot.
Dog valley fever if not fought off by their immune system can range from very mild, to extremely severe, and if not properly diagnosed very early, can and has been fatal in several dogs.
The symptoms that you will want to constantly watch for in your best friend are swelling of the joints, a sudden poor appetite to the point of being anorexia, and chronic coughing.
The reason for this last one is simple; it is literally attacking your dog’s pulmonary system.
Additional symptoms can also include limping or a sudden lameness, bone and or spinal pain, swollen lymph nodes, and in very severe cases, seizures as you pet cannot breathe properly.
Catching dog valley fever early is extremely important to your dog, and if your pet exhibits these symptoms, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
Early detection can save months and even years of future treatments.
There are several effective anti-fungal therapies to treat this condition once your dog has caught this disease and been properly diagnosed.
However, several of these treatments have some potentially serious side effects.
Most dogs will recover and most may eventually be able to stop taking medications, but there are also some that will have to take it for life.
But there will be others that will face the very sad consequences of dying from this disease.
Your dog’s natural immune system, when functioning properly has an awesome ability to resist disease and attacks from agents such as fungus.
But when the immune systems energy is blocked or unbalanced due to poor nutrition, stress, or injury, they become extremely vulnerable.
Our dogs look to us for everything they have in their life, including helping with their immune system.
Large doses of Vitamin C are used in conjunction with the anti-fungal therapies in almost every case of dog valley fever.
Because of this would it not
common sense tell you that if it is used as a treatment, it would be
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, has several functions in your dog’s body.
It helps in the healing process, their circulatory systems, especially important with valley fever, and their regenerative abilities.
However, this vitamin will also help your dog as an antioxidant and a pollution fighter that helps to clean toxins from blood and tissues.
Supplements of vitamin C in your dog could make the difference between life and death with Dog Valley Fever.
Vitamin E will also be essential in building the immune system against this disease as it as it especially effective in oxidizing the blood and improves the functions of all internal organs.
However it is especially effective as an antioxidant to protect the lungs.
And finally the mineral Selenium is important in building the immune system against Dog Valley Fever, as it helps in bringing vitamin E to its full working capacity.
It also helps as an antioxidant as well as building muscular strengths to help prevent weakness of the limbs and potential lameness, one of the major symptoms of Valley Fever.
Building your dog’s immune system to its full fighting ability against this condition if you live in these areas may indeed make the difference in if your pet has to face lifelong medications, potential death, or is totally immune.