DSCN2106 (2)

Hey, Pups! Hope you summers are going awesome! I’m here to talk about a scary disease that can be lurking around the forests near our Chicago. Because it tends to be rare, it’s sometimes misdiagnosed, and can lead to death in a very short amount of time!


“Blastomycosis is a relatively rare, but potentially fatal fungal infection caused by the pathogen Blastomyces dermatitidis. The fungus grows in moist soil or vegetation. In certain conditions, spores are released into the air that can be inhaled by dogs or people, thereby infecting them.
When the soil or vegetation where the fungus lives is disturbed, the infectious spores are released into the air. Dogs may develop blastomycosis by breathing the pathogen into their lungs or having it enter through an open wound. The soil can be disturbed by an activity such as digging in the dirt or following a scent trail. Conversely, in dry weather the spores may simply spread through dust, such as at a recently excavated area or areas undergoing construction.  The Blastomyces fungus thrives in wet environments, such as riverbanks, lakes and swamps, where damp soil lacking direct sunlight fosters growth of  fungi. It is also present in areas that are rich in decaying matter, such as wooded areas, forests, and farms. Studies have concluded that most affected dogs live within at least 400 meters of a body of water.

Symptoms to look for include:


Flu-like symptoms (pneumonia)

Loss of appetite /Weight loss

Eye infection, specifically the iris

Sudden blindness

Difficulty breathing (e.g., coughing, wheezing and other unusual breathing sounds)

Skin sores or lesions, which are frequently filled with pus and do not heal

Decreased stamina

Joint pain

Reluctance to walk, loss of coordination

Lymph glands swelling


Diagnosis A dog must be properly tested for a definititve diagnosis. This condition is commonly mistaken for cancer or pneumonia. If mistaken and treated as a bacterial infection, it will be treated with antibiotics, which can actually exacerbate the illness. If your pet has been in an environment where the Blastomyces fungus may have been present at any time in the six weeks previous to the onset of symptoms, you will want to ask your veterinarian to test for a fungal infection. There are several methods to diagnose blastomycosis:


I want all my canine buddies to be happy and healthy, so please! Keep an eye out for any potential symptoms! It can save your life!


Kaylee Tips