(Picture Credit: Christina Reichl Photography / Getty Images)
Many dogs love nothing better than digging in the dirt, but for one dog, doing so almost cost him his life.
Mocha, a black Labrador, visited three different animal hospitals with his dog parents Michael and Yomaira Lee, before veterinarians diagnosed him with blastomycosis. The condition is a fungal infection in the lungs, caused by breathing in spores from the soil.
There were two options for Mocha’s family. They could either euthanize the pup, or remove the lung.
“He was a big, happy, 105-pound healthy…happy black Lab; star of the family, running around. You know, playing with everyone,” said Michael to WIFR. “He had the will to live, we could see it in his eyes”.
Worth the Money
While Mocha is normally energetic and playful, he began to show symptoms of a cold. But after a week, he didn’t improve.
“It’s really mysterious how you think he might be doing better on the antibiotics and then at the same night he’s at 50 breaths per minute,” said Michael.
Mocha’s parents took a loan to cover the surgery – it added up to over $11,000, a far cry from the couple of hundred dollars they first anticipated paying for antibiotics.
While it was expensive, however, they don’t regret it. “If I could go back in time I would have probably had them do the blasto-test right away,” said Michael.
The family have set up a GoFundMe to help cover the expenses.
Which Fungus Causes Blastomycosis?
Blastomycosis, often simply called ‘Blasto’, is a systemic disease caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. It’s found in soil, particularly near water.
The fungus begins are mold, and creates spores. Dogs can then inhale these spores, developing into blastomycosis.
Among the organs and body parts most likely to be affected are the lungs, the skin, the eyes, bones, and lymph nodes. However, if the condition is caught early, dogs often respond well to treatment.