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Old 07-15-2011, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,192 posts, read 1,227,109 times
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Hi all,

My hubby took our chocolate lab to the vet yesterday because he has been coughing a lot. I figured he got kennel cough when we took him to PetCo to be groomed. The vet says he may have Valley Fever and if the meds we have him on now don't clear it up in 2 weeks then we will have to start treatment for Valley Fever. They gave us an estimate of $560 to $700 for treatment including hospitalizations. I was looking on line and the treatment seems pretty straight forward, anti-fungal meds for 6 to 12 months, x-ray and blood tests to diagnos. The estimate seems a bit high for something that seems pretty easy.

Has anyone else's dog come down with Valley Fever, and if so what was the treatment and what was the approximate cost?
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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This is very common and takes a while to get under control. The price that you mention sounds very reasonable. My sheltie suddenly became ill and had to be hospitalized. She's under control now, but they are not certain if it is gall bladder or liver. Her blood tests are running around $150. each time. Her bill was $600. for a weekend. They had her on an IV to flush her out. She is now on Hill's RX liver diet. A can of the wet food is $2.50 and the dry food is pricey as well. I have had two dogs in the past with valley fever. That's a tough one to treat.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:37 PM
 
3,389 posts, read 3,443,114 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauramc27 View Post
Hi all,

My hubby took our chocolate lab to the vet yesterday because he has been coughing a lot. I figured he got kennel cough when we took him to PetCo to be groomed. The vet says he may have Valley Fever and if the meds we have him on now don't clear it up in 2 weeks then we will have to start treatment for Valley Fever. They gave us an estimate of $560 to $700 for treatment including hospitalizations. I was looking on line and the treatment seems pretty straight forward, anti-fungal meds for 6 to 12 months, x-ray and blood tests to diagnos. The estimate seems a bit high for something that seems pretty easy.

Has anyone else's dog come down with Valley Fever, and if so what was the treatment and what was the approximate cost?
I adopted a senior dog (a black Lab) from a shelter and he had V.F. at the time. His didn't exhibit a cough, but had poor appetite and joint pain, manifesting as a limp. He was placed on an anti-fungal and got regular blood tests to monitor the blood titer. He was cured after approximately 6 months with no residual damage. He's been incident free and healthy since then. Perhaps your dog's case is more serious? Here's a link to a useful article: Valley Fever (http://www.dlrrphoenix.org/VF.html - broken link)
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,192 posts, read 1,227,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimballette View Post
I adopted a senior dog (a black Lab) from a shelter and he had V.F. at the time. His didn't exhibit a cough, but had poor appetite and joint pain, manifesting as a limp. He was placed on an anti-fungal and got regular blood tests to monitor the blood titer. He was cured after approximately 6 months with no residual damage. He's been incident free and healthy since then. Perhaps your dog's case is more serious? Here's a link to a useful article: Valley Fever (http://www.dlrrphoenix.org/VF.html - broken link)
I read the link last night, and as I said, he is only coughing at this time, no fever, no loss of appetite, no depression etc... Can you remember approximatly how much it cost you in the end?
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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My dog getting Valley Fever is my biggest fear about moving to Arizona, even more so than my fear of scorpions, which is huge. I'm sorry your dog has this.

Is there a way to cut down the chance of a dog getting Valley Fever?
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lauramc27 View Post
I read the link last night, and as I said, he is only coughing at this time, no fever, no loss of appetite, no depression etc... Can you remember approximatly how much it cost you in the end?
No, sorry. It was a few years ago. I recall the meds were cheap, but blood tests were expensive.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,192 posts, read 1,227,109 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimballette View Post
No, sorry. It was a few years ago. I recall the meds were cheap, but blood tests were expensive.
Thanks anyway. I just want to make sure this Vet is not trying to overcharge, since we are new to the area and do not know anyone that has had this problem with their pets.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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I don't know how to prevent valley fever. If you see the dog digging, stop him. The spores are in airborne dust, too. As I recall, the two dogs I had that got valley fever had lousy looking coats, as well. Valley fever is not fun for you or your dog. My collie's valley fever came back with a vengance. My sheltie's current gall bladder disorder (Or liver disorder, they haven't decided) is being monitored very closely with strict diet. The main vet is fresh out of med school and has friends who are liver specialists. There are specialists in Denver and Tucson, too. I remember Marge Wright (Pets on Parade) took one of her shelties, Max, to Tucson for cancer treatment. Her shelties saw her through her cancer so she spared no care on him.

My fifteen year old sheltie, Duncan, who died of lymphoma last summer was too old to put through chemo (I felt). I kept him alive for nine months after his diagnosis....until his life was not worth living any more. My vet really pressured me to take him to an oncologist. The estimate of going that route was around $13,000. If he had been younger, I would have done it.

Last edited by BabsJohnson; 07-15-2011 at 01:58 PM..
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:52 PM
 
5,067 posts, read 5,103,364 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnp View Post
My dog getting Valley Fever is my biggest fear about moving to Arizona, even more so than my fear of scorpions, which is huge. I'm sorry your dog has this.

Is there a way to cut down the chance of a dog getting Valley Fever?
Take dog in during dust storms, windy conditions. Don't let him dig in dirt or be in trees/shrubs with lots of dirt, stuff like that. Maybe vitamins to keep the immune system sharp.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:47 PM
 
970 posts, read 1,639,889 times
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Unfortunately, my dog's favorite hobby is digging. Here he digs for moles. I guess there it would be for whatever small animals live underground in Arizona.

Right now he's battling rhodococcus, which is also found in the soil and acts much like Valley Fever, disseminating to other parts of the body, although it's a bacteria, whereas Valley Fever is a fungus, so the treatments are different. He got it last fall and it took 4 months and 2 surgeries to get rid of it. He was fine for about 3 months after aggressive treatment, and I thought he was finally cured, but he came down with it again a few days ago, so he's under treatment again. It's one of those nasty bacteria that some animals never totally get rid of once they have it. I think we'll probably be dealing with this for the rest of his life. It's rare for a dog to get rhodococcus (it's mostly a horse disease), and he has dug here for 10 years without a problem, but suddenly he got it.

I think he's going to have to give up his digging, no matter where we live, which is too bad because he loves it so much.

I wish they made dust masks for dogs.
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