He was limping and as I went to examine his leg and foot, it was very obvious that there was something wrong with his toe. It was swollen and very tender to the touch. I immediately thought of toe cancer (only because I read that it was not uncommon in standards) and I rushed him to the vet for an x-ray.
The x-rays showed an abnormality in the toe and also further up his leg. We took a blood sample and sent it in for the VF test. Valley Fever is common in Arizona (people and pets) so the vet knew what to look for.
More commonly the symptoms first show up as respiratory problems - coughing, weepy eyes, general snottiness and lethargy. Jackson never had any of those. When the disease is at that stage treatment is pretty successful. When it spreads to outside of the lungs (like to the bones) it is very serious and often deadly.
He's always been such a mellow low key guy. He has been the calmest puppy I've ever had. Now I wonder if he's only been lethargic due to the Valley Fever. He still seems so happy and loves to chase Hoot back and forth across the yard. If it wasn't for the obvious soreness of his foot he would be the picture of good health.
Hmmm. I have a client that has a westie with fungus in her lungs. This dog has had problems ever since she adopted it at about 1 year of age. I have to ask her if this is what her dog has. It has been on STRONG medicine for one year. The dog seems as healthy as a horse except for a little fatigue and a cough. We figured out it has nothing to do with the grooming noose, or her collar or anything....so she does get groomed every month.
But about 2 weeks ago, the poor little thing had about half of a lung removed. When they opened her up, she still was showing signs of disease/fungus. The felt that surgery was not an option UNTIL the medication worked.....but apparently it was still an ongoing thing.
Somehow this owner qualified for government grant money for this little dog. She has put a lot of her own money into it, but she told me that her prescriptions are covered by her "grant". If you want me to put you in touch with her, I can. But she did tell me her dog came from "down south" or something.....not local to PA. So you all are probably right about it getting spores from a different type of soil.