Aspergillosis. Fluid/Blood from nose. Anyone have experience with this? - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 08-04-2014, 03:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aspergillosis. Fluid/Blood from nose. Anyone have experience with this?

Janick, my rescue puppy, is dealing with a very serious health crisis. As many of you already know, he came to us as a very wormy, emaciated puppy from a hoarding situation. We struggled quite a bit that first year to get him healthy. But all of that was forgotten and we were so very happy to have him . He is loved so much. Then suddenly on Sunday a week ago, he started bleeding out of his left nostril. We rushed him to the emergency vet clinic.
Prior to this episode of bleeding he had in the past month a couple of times, where I noticed a drop of blood after a feeding, and I thought at first it was from the way he attacks his food , or that he scratched his mouth on something outside. It was not until a couple of weeks ago, when it happened again that I realized it was coming from his nose. But then it was gone until that Friday when I noticed it again. I was going to take him to my vet on Monday but then Sunday afternoon he started bleeding heavily and we rushed him to ER vet.

At this time they sedated him and checked to see if there was anything in his nose and also x -rayed him. The vet on call, was very confident that it was probably a foreign body and recommended a rhinoscope to remove it.

After a consultation with a vet from Virgina Tech, a Ct Scan and rhinoscope was scheduled at VA Tech veterinary hospital for the following day. The vets were very concerned that we are dealing with Aspergillosis, a fungal disease which is very serious and difficult to treat. German Shepherds are apparently predisposed to this, most likely because of an inherited immune deficiency.

During the procedure no foreign body was found, no plagues in his nose suggesting fungal disease, no tumors, however his sinus cavity is filled with fluid. They were hopeful the biopsies would give some answers.

The biopsies just came back today and unfortunately they were not definitive, but the radiologist, surgeons and all the vets feel very strongly that it is indeed a fungal infection.

Janick is now scheduled for a trephine procedure in which a surgeon drills a hole into his sinus cavity to flush the fluid and scope it out. A catheter will be inserted to administer the anti fungal at this time. The medicine will stay in for an hour and they will rotate him to cover all the crevices . He might require more than one treatment.

I have so many questions, and for the most part even the vets do not have the answers. If it is in fact Aspergillosis it is difficult to treat and there is always the chance for recurrence.
He continues to have fluid mixed with blood come out of his nose every day. I put a clean sheet on his bedding every night and it is always covered with spots and large areas where the fluid dried. During the day he licks his nose constantly, so I do not notice the actual fluid very much, unless he has a full blown nose bleed which thankfully he has not had since last week.

I am beside myself with worry. I feel absolutely awful and just want to help him. He is only a year and half old and has had such a rough start already.

We are doing everything we can for him, but would appreciate any thoughts or advice if anyone has ever experienced anything similar or dealt with Aspergillosis.

Please keep him in your thoughts.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default My experience with aspergillosis

I joined the forum just so I could respond to you. We rescued a dog, an Aussie, about your dog's age. He was running wild for some time before he was hit by a car. After his surgery (long story), he did fine but his nose ran all the time. Eventually he was diagnosed with aspergillosis. They said if it isn't cured, it will eat through the skull to the brain. We live right near a teaching vet school and took him there. They did the expensive procedure like you described and it didn't work. They then did it a second time. I was told he could then be put on a very expensive anti-fungal right after the second procedure to insure success, or I could try using a much cheaper anti-fungal, which was something I could afford. I had him on it for close to 2 years, being afraid to stop it as he seemed better. Finally, my regular vet realized how long he had been on it and wanted me to stop it. I did and he was fine thereafter!

I was freaked out by the original diagnosis as he was an amazing, lovable dog. I was so glad that he was cured and able to live a normal life. He recently died on a walk, very suddenly, at about 11 years of age. While that sounds awful, it is nothing like what I am going through with my half German Shepard 8 year old girl that has been deteriorating with degenerative myelopathy.

I hope your pup does well with the treatment. Don't give up and hopefully he will get better like Ranger did. If you try the medicine after the procedure and your dog gets diarrhea from it, give him some regular pumpkin with his food, a heaping tablespoon. It really works!
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meminger View Post
I joined the forum just so I could respond to you. We rescued a dog, an Aussie, about your dog's age. He was running wild for some time before he was hit by a car. After his surgery (long story), he did fine but his nose ran all the time. Eventually he was diagnosed with aspergillosis. They said if it isn't cured, it will eat through the skull to the brain. We live right near a teaching vet school and took him there. They did the expensive procedure like you described and it didn't work. They then did it a second time. I was told he could then be put on a very expensive anti-fungal right after the second procedure to insure success, or I could try using a much cheaper anti-fungal, which was something I could afford. I had him on it for close to 2 years, being afraid to stop it as he seemed better. Finally, my regular vet realized how long he had been on it and wanted me to stop it. I did and he was fine thereafter!

I was freaked out by the original diagnosis as he was an amazing, lovable dog. I was so glad that he was cured and able to live a normal life. He recently died on a walk, very suddenly, at about 11 years of age. While that sounds awful, it is nothing like what I am going through with my half German Shepard 8 year old girl that has been deteriorating with degenerative myelopathy.

I hope your pup does well with the treatment. Don't give up and hopefully he will get better like Ranger did. If you try the medicine after the procedure and your dog gets diarrhea from it, give him some regular pumpkin with his food, a heaping tablespoon. It really works!
Thank you so much for joining and sharing your story with me. I have not posted here in a long time, but was hoping for exactly this type of thing. That someone has dealt with this and has some hope and encouragement for me. I always feel like I am quite knowledgable about German Shepherds/ dogs and their health and had never heard of Aspergillosis until this, so feel very humbled. Also sick with worry and heartbroken to see him suffer.
Again, please know how much I appreciate your reply. Thank you
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I am so sorry to heat about Janick. My rescued GSD, Hunter, had very similar symptoms which started last September. His initial biopsy was also inconclusive and after the 2nd or 3rd, Texas A&M determined it was fungus and believed it was Pythium. I suspected it was a similar fungus - Conidiobolus - which is rare but known to affect nasopharyngeal region in dogs. I believe in Aspergillosis there is typically nasal turbinate destruction. Hunter had fluid filled, swollen nasal mucosa but there was no evidence of turbinate damage and the fungal plaques that they eventually found, were not typical. Hunter's story is very long, and I would be happy to share it with you if you wish. In summary, he was definitively diagnosed by Dr. Grooters at LSU (who worked with my vet); he was put on Sporanox (Itraconazole) and all of his symptoms resolved. He will continue to be on Itraconazole for a year. He is on a good generic (FDA tested) which is still expensive but with a coupon through GoodRx.com and CVS, I am ONLY paying about $300 per month (vs $1,000). Your vet or the VT vets can send Dr. Grooters the biopsy slides and she will be able to tell if you are dealing with Conidiobolus. It is rare but often easier to treat than Aspergillosis. For information regarding how to contact Dr. Grooters please see the end of this article. http://www.rottweilerhealth.org/pdfs...rooters_02.pdf

Please feel free to PM me if you want any more information. I will PM you my contact information.

Good luck!

Jill Washburn
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We live in Virginia and dealt with this, too. Frieda was 7, and started to have a runny nose that progressed to a bloody nose, all on one side. The vet used a scope, and didn't find anything, biopsy was inconclusive, though they were sure it was nasal cancer. Basically, the answer was enjoy the time you have left.Then the inside of one of her nostrils turned pink (it was black originally) and it was clear she had a lot of pain in her nose. After checking around on the internet, I asked them to check for a fungal infection. They ran blood work and it came back positive for aspergillosis. The vet suggested to try itraconazole first, and see if that worked to get rid of the infection before doing the cather method. Within 2 weeks the pain in her nose resolved, and in about a month all symptoms had ceased. It did take 2-3 months for her nose to turn black. Unfortunately, the aspergilliosis came back again the following year. Again, we used itra and kept her on it longer (I don't remember how long). It did resolve again, but came back the following year. This time we had to keep her on the itra for quite a while, and we added terbinafine as a booster. It kept it at bay, but wouldn't completely resolve.
About a year later, she had a mass in her pancreas, and the referral vet said either it was the aspergillosis that had migrated to her organs, or it was pancreatic cancer. He didn't recommend anything further and we ultimately let her go. But she was almost 11 at that point.
So though it kept coming back, she was able to live a healthy and normal life. She just needed more medicine than the average pup.
Itraconazole is expensive, but we tried fluconazole (which was much cheaper) and it did nothing. We did find a compounding pharmacy, and we were able to get the itra for about $200 a month as opposed to $1000 locally.
If you have any other questions, let me know.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you so much Jill and barnyard for your help. I am writing everything down, and researching and will share all my notes with the doctors. It is all very overwhelming to me at the moment.

Also I am sorry all of you had had to deal with this scary disease.

And Merninger, I am so very sorry you are dealing with degenerative myelopathy with your girl
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just wanted to add that after we had the procedure done the second time, we used the cheaper drug, Fluconazone I think, right after he came home. We got it through the vet school and its price varied but was about $30-60 dollars each time. Much better than the $500 newer drug. (Hah, they said I could go to Mexico and get it for half price. How much is a trip to Mexico?)

As I said, he was cured after being on the fluconazole for a long while. So, if you are going to do the procedure, maybe you should see if your vet will agree to the meds right after to maximize your success. That is what I would do if I ever had to deal with this again.
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Old 08-06-2014, 11:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Has erlichiosis been ruled out? I had a GSD that presented with similar symptoms; namely, severely bloody nose. She was diagnosed with erlichiosis and was treated with antibiotics but later passed from complications.
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes, absolutely, tick diseases need to be ruled out.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Any update on this pup?
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