Canine Valley Fever: 7 Prevention Tips

Canine valley fever is a fungal infection caused by cocci spores in soil. It is most common throughout southern Arizona and California and New Mexico. When the spores enter your dog's lungs, canine fever ensues. Although it's not contagious, it can be quite serious.

There is no set medication to ward off this condition, but a vaccination is in the works. Therefore prevention is essential; start by using the following tips.

1. Keep your dog from stirring up soil. 2. Avoid walking your dog or letting him roam in areas where the fungus grows. 3. Don't encourage play-time or other activities where dust stirs up. 4. Discourage behaviors like digging or sniffing in rodent holes since the fungus lives as deep as 12 inches in the ground. 5. Plan more activities for your dog inside the house to prevent him from contracting canine fever. 6. Install a ground covering such as gravel to control the dust from traveling in the air. 7. Reinforce proper nutrition to bolster your dog's immune system. This can also prevent complications of the illness from increasing.

Although much of the prevention centers on behavioral changes, know the symptoms of canine fever to help treat it and stop it from worsening. Initial symptoms are:

  • fever over 102 degrees F
  • coughing
  • decreased appetite
  • lethargy/lack of energy

Puppies, older dogs and animals with poor immune systems are more susceptible to this illness. Vets treat canine fever with antifungal medications.