Help Potato Beat Blastomycosis

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Update #2

8 months ago

After 4 nights and 5 days at the animal hospital, Potato's breathing improved enough to come off oxygen and come home last night!

He still has a long way to go - he will continue on antifungals, anticlotting, and steroids for up to 6 months+ and will need monthly x-rays, bloodwork, and urinalysis to monitor the fungus levels in his body. He is also still 15 pounds below his normal weight and is scarily bony and needs to put on weight.

Once he does fully recover, he will also continue to be monitored to make sure it does not come back, as we do not where he picked it up from or if it's present in our yard.

Thank you for your support!

More Info

Potato came to our family at the beginning of August after we had lost our two dogs in the previous year (one to cancer and one to old-age/heart failure). 

On December 6th, I took him to the vet for the first time after he had begun showing signs of being sick. We were sent home with antibiotics and a diagnosis of pancreatitis after a brief exam. By the following week, he had declined despite the medication and I took him back in. He had lost 6 pounds and was admitted for an IV and tests. We were told two days later that his tests were fine and he just had gastrointestinal issues. He was sent home that Friday (12/17).

By Saturday morning, it was clear something was very wrong and Potato had begun struggling to breath. I rushed him to an emergency vet where he was diagnosed with Blastomycosis.

Blastomycosis is a severe fungal infection where the fungus infects the lungs. It is found in nature and the soil and unfortunately can't be prevented. He was started on antifungal medications the next day.

By the next week he had further declined - his breathing became more labored and he couldn't walk or stand. On December 22, I took him to VCA Advanced Veterinary Center in Indianapolis and he was admitted and placed in an oxygenated kennel and given IVs. By this point in time he had gone from 75 pounds to 60 pounds.

The first week of treatment for blastomycosis is the worst - we have been told he must stay in the oxygenated kennel for at least 3-4 more days as he works through the first rough week of medication and his body fights to start recovery. The vet at VCA told us we are still in the touch-and-go phase. If he makes it through the first week, he will still have a long road ahead, as blasto treatment usually requires 4-6 months of medication to get fungus levels in the body to zero.

We have a very long, hard, and expensive road ahead to get this sweet potato back to health. He is only 1 years old and I'm doing everything I can to give him his best shot at recovery.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read Potato's story.

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Brittany Vanover posted a new update:
8 months ago

Update #3

After 4 nights and 5 days at the animal hospital, Potato's breathing improved enough to come off oxygen and come home last night!

He still has a long way to go - he will continue on antifungals, anticlotting, and steroids for up to 6 months+ and will need monthly x-rays, bloodwork, and urinalysis to monitor the fungus levels in his body. He is also still 15 pounds below his normal weight and is scarily bony and needs to put on weight.

Once he does fully recover, he will also continue to be monitored to make sure it does not come back, as we do not where he picked it up from or if it's present in our yard.

Thank you for your support!

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Brittany Vanover posted a new update:
8 months ago

Update #2

Potato is currently hospitalized and in an oxygenated kennel 24/7. He is getting IVs and ate a few bites of food for the first time in almost two weeks today!

The internal medicine vet overseeing Potato's care, Dr. Hui, told me this morning that the next few days are the worst we should see and that things will be very touch-and-go but if Potato makes it over this hill, we have a long road to recovery, but he will have a shot.

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