We all know that dogs with valley fever can have different symptoms. We usually give each patient a valley fever titer, a simple treatment. But therapy for valley fever can be hard, just like everything else that has to do with cats. The disease can show itself in many ways, from weight loss and lumps to too many swollen lymph nodes. Other possible signs are trouble breathing, a swollen stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. People think that cats are less likely to get sick than dogs, but they are often harder to treat.
The fungus Coccidioides immitis lives in the soil and needs conditions to live and reproduce. It grows well in places with sandy, alkaline soil, hot weather, little rain, and a low elevation. In many parts of the world, these things happen often. This fungus is mostly found in North America’s Sonoran living zone, including the southwestern United States, parts of Mexico, and some of Central America. In the United States, individuals are most likely to get coccidioidomycosis in southern California, Arizona, and southwestern Texas.
When animals or people breathe in soil fungus, they get sick. When C. immitis spores are breathed in, they cause respiratory illness. After that, the sickness spreads to other parts of the body, usually the eyes and skin. Bones or nerves may be affected by infections less often.
Dogs are more likely to get sick from this virus than cats. Because of this, infections in cats tend not to be as bad. Most infections start between one and three weeks after inhaling the fungus, but the fungus can stay dormant for three years or more before showing signs of infection. The severe form of the disease is more likely to happen to cats with weak immune systems. Visit this link to get more information on valley fever.
Symptoms and Warning Signs
The most common sign of coccidioidomycosis in cats is skin sores that drain. In contrast to the dog, skin sores that drain don’t always have bone involvement underneath. Cats often have a fever, lose weight, and lose their appetite. Most of the time, dogs have problems with their lungs, but cats rarely do.
The history, symptoms, x-rays of the lungs, identification of the organism, and blood tests are used to diagnose. X-rays from a veterinary specialty center of Tucson often show a clear pattern in the lungs. A small sample can be taken and looked at under a microscope to find the fungus if a skin lesion is draining.
If a biopsy or a sample from a draining sore can’t be used to make a diagnosis, a common “presumptive” test is to look for antibodies to Coccidioides in the blood. Most of the time, it’s good to get a complete blood count (CBC) and blood chemistry test as a baseline to look at red and white blood cells and organ function.
Most people with coccidioidomycosis are treated at home with an antifungal drug that they take by mouth. Symptoms of getting worse or better and bad drug reactions should be written down during this time. If your pet is throwing up, having diarrhea, losing their appetite, having trouble breathing, or losing weight, you should call a vet from places like vscot.com.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
The main part of the prevention plan is to stay away from places where Coccidioides are known to be in the soil. To make it less probable that your pet will get this disease, you should be extra careful around animals who have diseases that weaken their immune systems or who are already taking drugs to do this.