Blastomycosis: Is Your Dog At Risk for Death by Fungus?

Is Your Dog At Risk for Death by Fungus?

blastomycosis in dogsLurking in your yard, in your mulch no less could be a naturally occurring fungus that readily infects dogs, cats as well as people and can be deadly for dogs and cats if not caught early. Blastomycosis is a yeast like fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis.

This organism is commonly found in decaying wood and soil, usually near bodies of fresh water.

The infection usually starts out in the lungs but can invade many tissues throughout the body even causing blindness via optic lesions.

My neighbor’s dog sadly passed away from this very infection. My neighbor described the initial symptom her dog exhibited was difficulty breathing. They thought this was because the dog was hot due to her fur being long, as well as her age possibly being a factor. They took the dog to the vet who initially misdiagnosed her as well as gave her antibiotics which unfortunately accelerated the illness. By the time they figured out what was causing her illness it was to late. More common in male dogs but my neighbors dog was female.

The symptoms of Blastomycosis which can be vague or misdiagnosed include:

  •  Fever
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Weight loss
  • Eye discharge
  • Eye inflammation, specifically the iris
  • Difficulty breathing (e.g., coughing, wheezing and other unusual breathing sounds)
  • Skin lesions, which are frequently filled with pus

map of blastomycosisThis infection is quickly hitting epidemic proportions in many states. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms ask your veterinarian to test for fungal infection. Blastomycosis is commonly mistaken for cancer and mistreated which can lead to permanent not to mention fatal damage as in the case of my neighbor’s dog.

For more information on this topic

Most cases are diagnosed in late summer to early fall.

Don’t let your dog fall victim to this horrific infection. Pay attention and if your dog doesn’t seem like themselves, take action!

Terie Hansen Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care

May be reached at 404-422-9832


  1. They need to update that map! We recently lost our young boxer to blasto, and we live in Northeastern Massachusetts. The vets never suspected it because “it doesn’t happen here.” He was misdiagnosed by several specialists over the course of 3 months. Once they figured it out and started aggressive treatment, it was too late. He survived his initial treatments but had no viable lung tissue left afterwards. We are devastated. Don’t rely on that map, this fungus is everywhere, and veterinarians in all areas of the US need to take it seriously.

    • Hi Ariel,

      I’m so sorry for your loss! Vets need to be up to date on this whether or not “it happens” in their area! Hopefully we can bring awareness to this devastating illness.

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