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Old 03-26-2010, 02:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
RAS
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Default Aspergillus fungal infection

Our two year old Bella was diagnosed with disseminated Aspergillus fungal infection the beginning of Feb.. It started off as what we thought were allergies causing her to bite and gnaw at her skin. She would have patches of missing fur and sores on her hind area. After seeing her vet many times and trying special hypo allergenic foods and meds to help with the itching. A few weeks on this treatment we noticed her left eye was red. We rushed her into the vet and was referred to an ophthalmologist that same day. That day will stay in my mind forever for it was the scariest ever. We were informed that it was a fungal infection which GSD are prone to getting but her immune system was weak and had developed a bad case of it causing her to fight for her life. Her retina was detached from the eye and one of her lungs were deteriorating. She was able to come home that night but never seemed to be the same afterward.

I was over loaded by the amount of different medicine she had to take from steroids, eye drops, to antibiotics. Bella's behavior continued to change over the next few weeks as she was in much pain. She had developed secondary glocoma in the left eye. We ended up loosing her eye and had it removed to ease any pain she was in. Once she had healed from the surgery I noticed a bit more of the Bella that I loved so much. She was playing and enteracting with Maximus our new male GSD pup that we had brought home the month prior.

It has been almost two months since we first found out that our baby was fighting for her life. She is now going strong as ever. Though some of her behavior issues have stayed like a bit more aggressive towards other dogs in the neighborhood and protective of the yard. I'm sure with some reassurance and more training she will over come this behavior. She will continue to be on medication for a very long time. This infection can still reoccur and cause more problems to her. For now we are taking it day by day and living every moment in joy that we can.

I wanted everyone to know of this infection and how serious it is and can be to our furry friends. Please take the time and educate yourself on this and what to look for.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How was your girl diagnosed? How long was the treatment? What drugs were used?
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It was a very long process in diagnosing her. The lesions on her skin indicated a bacterial or fungal infection (which her regular vet misdiagnosed as allergies) the infection had moved to her eye and lungs by then. All the biopsies and blood tests had a negative result for this particular infection but her specialist vet was still certain that it was this fungal infection. After the eye was removed and sent for biopsy it was confirmed that this was the type of infection.

The med's they had her on at first were
Dexamethasone/Neo Soln drops
Atropine drops
Doxycycline
Fluconazole
Prednisone
Cefpodoxime

Of course once she had her sergery we stopped the eye drops and began Cephanalexin for two weeks and Tramadol the first two-three days after for pain.

She is only taking the Flucanzole and is weening off the Prednisone now.

Bella is due for her yearly shots and will have to have one vaccine once a week in order for her immune system to be able to handle it.

I am concerned that with this infection and all the medicine she has been on she has not had her cycle which is about three months late. I know that we have to get her fixed now because this disease can be passed onto the offspring, but we are waiting till she is able to handle another surgery. Should be ready next month. I just want to have it done before Maximus our male pup is able to do anything with her.

here are some pics of my Bella the last three months. The first pic you can see the sores on her hind legs and the second shows how bad her eye got in just a matter of a few days. I will post more pics of her now and the puppy once I get them uploaded.
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Aspergillus fungal infection-dsc_4444.jpg   Aspergillus fungal infection-img_0408.jpg   Aspergillus fungal infection-img_0410.jpg   Aspergillus fungal infection-img_0419.jpg  
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Our dog also had this horrible disease. We had to put her down at 5.5 years after she collasped one morning. We had back surgery on her that night not knowing there was other things wrong. Two Vets had mis-diagnosed her saying she didn't have a back problem after we had noticed she would yelp when jumping off the bed or out of the car. One Vet did an xray and asked us if we smoked, which we don't. She said it looked like she had smokers lungs. 9 days after the back surgery we put her down due to being paralyzed again. The surgeon thought at first it was cancer of the sphine but the lab test confirmed it was aspergillus. She had disemiminated asphergillus. We did not have a problem with the eyes or nose it appeared to go to the lungs on her at first then to the sphine. Be aware that this disease when it diseminates typically goes to the sphine as well as other organs but most of the time it is the sphine. Looking back there where sypmtoms that appeared, panting all the time even at rest and cooled off; yelping when jumping down of objects, but not when jumping up; where she slept at various places in the house there was a black area on the carpet out from where her nose typically was at.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info, very tragic.

Bella sure is a trooper, give her some extra snuggles.

RAS, I wouldn't give those vaccines, there is no need to, and they might cause harm.

rita, I'm so sorry for your loss, just terrible.
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Wow RAS, what an experience for the two of you to have to go through! Thanks for sharing your story and possibly helping someone else. I hope Bella continues to improve!
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Bella's an extremely lucky pup that you were able to get a diagnosis and get the disease under control. Sounds like you must have a good vet!

Give that pretty girl a big hug from me and the Hooligans!
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