Disseminated Aspergillosis in Dogs

Aspergillosis in dogs is a condition caused by a fungal infection. The condition is so named because the fungus that causes the problem is from the genus Aspergillosis. There are two types of Aspergillosis that are found in dogs: nasal Aspergillosis and disseminated Aspergillosis. Of these, the distinction is made between them due to the exact type of fungus which causes the infection, as well as the scope and severity of the infection as well. Read on for a brief overview of disseminated Aspergillosis in dogs, the more serious condition of the two.

Disseminated Aspergillosis Overview

Disseminated Aspergillosis occurs when fungus of the type Aspergillosis tereus enter into your pet's nasal passageways. The infection then spreads throughout your dog's body and displays general signs of infection that aren't localized to any one area. This is distinct from nasal Aspergillosis, which is caused instead by the fungus called Aspergillus fumigatus. Nasal Aspergillosis is characterized by an infection of the nasal system and respiratory tract and is generally less serious. While dogs with longer noses tend to be more likely to contract the nasal form of this infection, the disseminated type is generally equally likely to target any type of dog. German shepherds are generally at a slightly higher risk for contracting disseminated Aspergillosis than other breeds, as are dogs with compromised immune systems.

Disseminated Aspergillosis Symptoms

The symptoms of disseminated Aspergillosis are varied and potentially severe. Early detection is crucial in order to have any hope of successfully treating your dog's condition. If left untreated, most cases of disseminated Aspergillosis are eventually fatal. The following symptoms are the most common and the best to keep an eye out for if you're concerned about your dog coming down with this condition:

  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Loss of muscle and strength
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Eye infection
  • Paralysis

If you notice these or any other related symptoms, take your dog in to the vet immediately for an examination.

Treatment of Disseminated Aspergillosis

The treatment of this condition is dependent first upon a successful diagnosis. In order to diagnose this condition, vets will conduct a complete blood count and panel for your pet. They will also likely order a urine sample and biopsies, in some cases.

The single treatment method for disseminated Aspergillosis is a systemic treatment using antifungal drugs. There are a variety of different drugs of this type, and you can work with your vet to find one that will be suitable for your dog given is age, his weight, his other medical conditions and any other medicines he may be taking. It's crucial that you follow your vet's orders for dosing this medicine carefully, as an improper treatment plan can leave your pet still infected and may result in a greater difficulty in treating the disseminated Aspergillosis.

For more information about this condition, or to discuss potential treatment options for your pet, speak with a vet.