Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Healthy Dogs

Font Size

Fungal Diseases in Dogs

Cryptococcosis

This disease, caused by the yeastlike fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, is acquired by inhaling spores found in soil contaminated by bird droppings, especially those of pigeons. In dogs, cryptococcosis involves the brain, eyes, lymph nodes, and skin. About 50 percent of the dogs with this fungus will also show respiratory signs. Signs of brain involvement are an unsteady gait, pressing the head against a hard surface or standing with the head up against a wall, circling, seizures, blindness, and dementia. Involvement of the inner structures of the eyes leads to blindness.

In the less common form that infects the skin, cryptococcosis produces firm nodules, primarily in the head area, that ulcerate and drain pus.

The diagnosis is made by fungal culture and/or tissue biopsy. A cryptococcus latex agglutination test is available.

Treatment: Oral antifungal drugs of the imidazole group (as described for Histoplasmosis) are partially effective when started early in the course of the disease. The response is uncertain and treatment is prolonged. Overall, the prognosis for dogs is guarded to poor.

Blastomycosis

This systemic fungal disease occurs along the eastern seaboard, in the Great Lakes region, and the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri River valleys. The fungus is associated with moist, rotting organic debris protected from sunlight and enriched with bird droppings, particularly those of pigeons. The disease is acquired by inhaling infected spores. Dogs are considerably more susceptible to blastomycosis than are humans.

Most cases of acute canine blastomycosis involve the respiratory system and cause bronchopneumonia. About 40 percent of cases involve the eyes and skin, producing signs similar to those of cryptococcosis (see above). Weight loss and lameness may also be noted.

1|2

WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook"

Today on WebMD

boxer dog
Slideshow
dog on couch
Evaluator
 
bad dog
Slideshow
Sad dog and guacamole
Slideshow
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
puppy eating
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow