Similar to humans getting a fever, dogs are also in danger of getting fevers. And so is the valley fever that is common in Arizona or California, especially people who live in the southwest desert are aware of it. So if your dog catch valley fever, here are some natural remedies for valley fever in dogs.
This affects thousands of people as well as dogs and most of the dogs recover from this infection, but there are cases where some dogs become extremely sick and they die if there is no proper treatment.
So let us see how serious is this, how it affects the dogs, the signs of valley fever in dogs, and the natural remedies for valley fever in dogs.
How valley fever is formed in dogs?
Parents of the dogs need to know how this valley fever affects their dogs. In the United States, It is believed that central and southern Arizona has the highest rate of valley fever. It is estimated that 6 to 10% of local dogs will develop symptoms of valley fever over their lifetime.
Valley fever also known as Coccidioides, California disease, San Joaquin valley fever, and desert rheumatism is a respiratory infection that dogs get from inhaling mold spores in the dirt. It is the fungus that causes the disease and is found in Southwestern U.S., Northwestern Mexico, and Central and South America. This fungus is also found in Washington State.
This is not contagious and it is not caused by one person to another, but the only way it gets infected is through direct breathing in the mold spores. When the dust or soil is disturbed, the fungus will circulate in the air, especially when there are dust storms, and heavy rain storms during a dry season, the infections will tend to occur more heavily.
When this fungus is inhaled, it spreads throughout the dog’s body instead of staying in the respiratory tract.
How do dogs get valley fever?
As mentioned above, valley fever is a fungal infection that is caused by breathing in the spores of coccidioides organisms. They live in soil and produce filaments that contain infectious spores. Animals and people without realizing will breathe the spores.
More than humans, dogs are prone to inhale them. As the dogs sniff, they often have their nose in contact with the soil. They might release the spores by digging in the dirt and then inhaling them. Once it enters the dog’s lung they develop into spherules which are like structures. And this causes respiratory problems.
Spherules can spread from the lungs to other parts of the body, and make your dog ill while affecting the joints, eyes, and nervous system. But if your dog is healthy, the immune system will isolate the spherules and prevent them from spreading and causing symptoms.
Young puppies, older dogs, and other dogs with underlying health issues can grow and spread in the lungs making them sicker and it would be dangerous for them.
Valley Fever in dogs symptoms
Valley fever in dogs can be of two forms, in which the first form is limited to the lungs, while the other will get spread to other areas of the dog’s body, and is so-called disseminated fever.
If valley fever in dogs is in the first form, the symptoms include,
- Dry Coughing
- Weight loss
- Lack of energy
- Low hunger
The disseminated fever that spreads to the other parts of the body will include the above-mentioned symptoms, along with some other signs of valley fever in dogs.
- Back or neck pain
- Swelling under the skin
- Unhealing skin wounds
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Eye inflammation
- Lameness or swelling in the legs and paws
- Swollen testicles
Diagnosing valley fever in dogs
It is better to go to a veterinarian who is familiar with the disease and practices in places where Valley fever is widespread. They will commonly test the dogs to find out the typical symptoms. The most common way to find out the symptoms is with the titer, which is a test that measures the level of antibodies against the respective fungus within the blood sample.
It determines whether the dog is exposed to Coccidioides, and the results will be combined with other diagnostic tests including x-ray, cell counts of blood, and blood chemistry panels.
You need to provide them with the history and the dog’s symptoms of health issues to make the final determination. If you have recently traveled or moved from a region where valley fever is common, and the dog is unwell, make sure to tell the veterinarian about the dog’s travel history. To find out whether the case is complicated, additional types of tests will be done.
Is valley fever curable in dogs?
Many dogs recover well from Valley Fever if it gets diagnosed earlier and treated properly. It would be more challenging to treat the dogs with valley fever after the disease has spread to other parts of the body and sometimes it can be life-threatening.
How to treat valley fever in dogs?
Treating a primary valley fever is a long-term course of anti-fungal medicine including fluconazole, ketoconazole, and itraconazole to treat valley fever. Consuming these anti-fungal medicines is effective at reducing symptoms and clearing the fungal infection from the dog’s system.
Your dog needs to take the medicines for 6 to 12 months. They will need to visit the vet regularly while the dog is taking the medication. The vet will make sure that your dog does not develop side effects on organs including the liver.
The dog may need to stay on the medication long to clear the infection if the disease gets spread outside of the lungs. If the fungus has got into the nervous system, then your dog might need medication for the rest of its life. If your dog is very ill and is not eating or drinking, you might not need to hospitalize the pet for a short period.
Fluids and nutrition need to be given to the dog to help them recover, and your vet may offer medicine to treat symptoms like fever, or coughing and make the pet more comfortable. In some rare cases, the disease progresses will be far for treatment to be effective, so you need to talk about the options with your vet.
Natural remedies for valley fever in dogs
A dog with a healthy immune system can usually fight off the disease but valley fever can be deadly for the dogs that are seen to develop symptoms. Although the most effective way to treat the condition is consuming antifungal medications.
Still, you can treat natural remedies for valley fever in dogs, and it is best to work with a holistic vet.
Boost the immune system.
You can provide them with canine multivitamins to boost the immune system. This is an effective way to fight off the fever because dogs with healthy immune systems will recover from the fever easily. To do that you need to provide them with nutritional support, especially vitamins that contain vitamin C and so the dog will naturally fight off the infection.
The multivitamin for dogs should be given by following the instructions. Although it won’t cure the fever, it will help the dog’s immune system to fight it off. Before giving the multivitamin, talk to the doctor to avoid other health issues.
Give food at the right time
If the dog is very ill, it may not feel like eating or drinking. If so the vet will give your dog fluids and nutrition to help them recover. The vet will also provide you with medicine to offer your dog to treat the symptoms like coughing or fever and it makes the pet more comfortable.
Your dog should eat a nutritious diet to help it recover. If your dog is not eating, you may need to hand-feed your dog to get it eaten.
To encourage your dog to eat, make sure to choose a highly palatable food. If required, include tasty ingredients like broth or coconut oil to entice your dog. However, your dog might refuse to eat due to a low appetite. And so ask your vet for food recommendations.
Give them the proper food
Give your dog a healthy diet including fruits, lean meat, and vegetables.
Provide them with fat, including beef tallow. This will help the body of dog with digestion and brain function while providing calories. You can use olive oil for cooking instead of vegetable oil so that it has many benefits to help the dog recover soon.
Include foods with carbohydrates such as tomatoes and sweet potatoes, but not too much as they are starchy. This differs depending on what works best. Experiment with different combinations until you find something that your pup likes.
During the recovery time, the dog will find it hard to run around because their lungs will not allow them to breathe properly due to the inflammation caused by valley fever. You can provide calcium sources like sardines, to help strengthen the bones during the recovery time.
Treat your dog
Unfortunately, Valley Fever is somewhat of a lasting illness. Therefore as directed, it is better if you treat your dog for at least 6 months to a year. Make your dog take the antifungal medications for at least 6 months, and treat your dog for a full year.
Following the directions, give your dog its medication and take it to your vet for regular checkups. Unfortunately, if your dog has a severe case, it may need lifetime treatment for the condition.
For thousands of years, Ginger has been used as a natural remedy to treat all kinds of diseases and infections. The active components in ginger will increase the body’s ability to fight off the infection while promoting circulation.
You can give the dog 2-4 mg per pound of Ginger daily in their food or water for two weeks. But before giving it consult with the vet to make sure it is safe for the dog because he might need lower doses than what is typically recommended.
This is a popular Indian spice and has antiviral and anti-inflammatory along with antioxidant properties that are thought to help heal wounds faster while reducing inflammation throughout the body.
Turmeric may contain harmful heavy metals so do not buy turmeric and use it sparingly. It does not work internally, so you will need to do some topical applications mixed with coconut oil or apply it directly onto the affected areas. Elderly dogs should not apply this treatment method without consulting a veterinarian.
Mix it with coconut oil until well combined, and then dab onto affected areas twice until the disappearance of the symptoms.
Effects of natural remedies on dogs
There are numerous benefits of natural remedies for valley fever in dogs. Some different Herbs and spices can be used as ingredients in most natural remedies, but you need to know that some are more effective than others.
You can apply doors natural remedies directly to the dog o you can add them to the food, water, and other consumables. The different herbal mixtures will vary depending on the spices, so it will make it difficult to find out whether or not they will work well on the pet without testing out the different types.
Although there are benefits, there are also side effects that are associated with herbal mixtures. So you need to consult a vet before giving your dog the natural remedies.
Benefits of natural remedies for valley fever
As soon as you find your dog has gotten bit by a tick or got valley fever, try to apply the natural remedies. There are many benefits
- Increase in appetite
- Increase the overall health
- Increase in energy
- Increase the overall wellness
Natural remedies will help your dog to suffer less likely from depression and other related problems, and it makes the dog active and playful while being friendly with family members and other pets.
When your dog gets an increased level of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it will improve its bodily functions.
Valley fever is not contagious so you do not have to worry about the fever getting spread from one pet to another. It is transmitted by inhaling spores contained in dirt and dust.
If you are leaving in a place where Valley fever is common, take steps to protect the health of the dog. Do whatever you can to reduce the exposure of the dog to the soil and the airborne dust such as keeping the dog indoors as much as practical, and taking them to walk on the paid sidewalks.
Make sure to find out how to take care of your dog.
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