We did a blog in October last year that focused on the symptoms of Valley Fever. If you’d like to read more about the symptoms, you can do so by clicking here.
Valley Fever is a fungal disease that is spread through spores within the soil of desert areas. Just by living in Arizona our pets are exposed to Valley Fever. A dog is diagnosed with Valley Fever by the history, symptoms and blood tests. The test used for Valley Fever is a titer test, which determines if there are Valley Fever antibodies present. A dog that has previously been diagnosed with Valley Fever may have the antibodies present for the remainder of their life and therefore, come back “positive” on a Valley Fever test.
Treatment for Valley Fever is antifungal medication often for a lengthy period of time. The duration of the treatment depends on the severity of the infection on a case by case basis. Common side effects from the medications to treat Valley Fever are vomiting and loss of appetite. Proper dosing is determined by Dr. Bashaw viewing and interpreting the results of the titer test and may fluctuate throughout the treatment process as the antibody count can vary with each retest. While a dog may feel and act better within 1-2 weeks, symptoms may come and go in a “cycling” process that can continue for a varying period of time.
The titer test needs to be repeated periodically to determine if there is any need to change the dosage of the medication as well as to see when medication can be stopped. It is important to continue the medication until otherwise directed because Valley Fever symptoms may cease while the disease persists. The only way to be sure the disease no longer needs treatment is a repeat on the titer test to view the antibody count.
If you have any other questions about Valley Fever or if you think your pet may be exhibiting symptoms, call us at 480-837-0800.
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16765 East Parkview Avenue
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
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