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Valley Fever Questions

1809 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  LisaT
I'm considering taking in a GSD with a mild case of valley fever. He's 3 yrs old and weighs almost 120lbs. He was diagnosed about a year ago, went on treatment for 3 months, and he was good for over a year afterward. He recently had some limping issues again (which they originally thought was HD and led to the VF diagnosis), and his VF re-emerged. He is back on meds (not sure which type) and will need to be re-evaluated in 3 months. His present titers are 3-1. I've done some research, but I couldn't find anything about the future complications. Has anyone had experience with Valley Fever with their GSD? I'm concerned about the limping, and from what I've read, it's a common symptom, but it seems like the virus has attacked his bones. Sometimes the VF can affect the brain as well, so I'm curious about the chances of it getting worse. If he had it once and relapsed, then obviously the chances of him of beating this for good are pretty low.
What I'm looking at is my future cost and his well-being. Not to sound insensitive or anything :eek:, I just want to know what I'm possibly getting myself into because I really want to bring him into the family. :)
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Valley fever can present itself differently in different dogs. Normally a vet wants to see 2 straight negative titers before they take them off the meds, so am curious as to why this dog had been taken off. Usually once they are free of the disease, they are immune to it, it doesn't return. The drug of choice right now is Fluconazole, it's relatively inexpensive (I was paying around $60/month when one of my dogs was on it), it may be more since the dog in question is so large. His present titer is low, which is good, but sometimes even with a low titer, some dogs are very symptomatic. Like I said, they are all different. Most cases of VF are treatable, some dogs need to be on the Fluconazole for life, some get over it and are able to stay off the meds, in my only experience with it with my dog, his case got very severe and it went into his eyes. I have a friend that has dealt with numerous cases, most were successfully treated and the dogs are fine or went on to live normal, happy lives. You are right to be cautious in taking on this dog, there's no telling how severe his symptoms will become, but if you like the dog and can afford the meds, chances are he will recover, most do eventually. Hope that helps.....
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Thanks for the help. I was sent some pics of him, and overall he looks good, we're going to check him out this week. I found out he is on Fluconazole, and she is paying $60 for the meds, so it seems about right. After our visit I guess we'll decide whether or not to take him.

If anyone else has any advice or input, please post up!
Good luck, hope it all works out for you and the dog. :)
I don't have experience with VF, but I do have experience with dogs that have chronic issues from things similar to tick diseases. It's a PIA, and costs a bit of money, but I never regretted having these issue dogs for a minute, they are worth it. I sure hope that you kick the butt out of the VF, but if you don't, you can still have a great companion in spite of it.
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