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Pythiosis in Dogs

Ragin’ Rusti Steel QAA

3/19/2002 - 7/14/2006
3/19/2002 – 7/14/2006

My wonderfully talented 4-year-old male Labrador Retriever succumbed to Pythiosis in 2006. This emerging tropical disease is silently killing dogs around the U.S.

Most practicing vets have never seen this disease, so the information available on this site will give you more options in the diagnosis and treatment of your sick pet.

Pythiosis is an emerging tropical disease that was not seen in the U.S. 10-20 years ago when most practicing veterinarians attended vet school. Unless your vet has personally experienced this disease, they will probably NOT RECOGNIZE its symptoms and most DO NOT KNOW about the simple blood test to detect its antibodies or the immunotherapy treatment.

Early intervention is CRITICAL with this infection.

PYTHIOSIS ALERTS (States which have had cases of Pythiosis)

Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Virginia. Bermuda.

If you know of a dog with Pythiosis, please help others and fill out this quick form to help us identify areas of infection.

Dogs lost to Pythiosis

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Bella
bella-tx
Dude
dude
Remi
remi-ms
Apollo
apollo
Beau
beau-ii
Bones
bones
Bonnie
bonnie
Callie
callie
Charlie
charlie
Chestnut
chestnut
Chunk
chunk1
Chunk
chunk2
Coco
coco
Gibson
gibson
Gretchen
gretchen2
Hannah
hannah
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Hudson
hudson
Jive
jive
Jordee
jordee
Koda
koda
Lenny
lenny
Lu
lu1
Lu
lu2
luke
Luke
luke2
Shep
shep
Remy
remy
Maggie
maggie
Posit
posit
Maggie
magtrimsm
Marley
marley
Molly
molly
Montana
montana
Murphy
murphy
Molly
molly
Leo
leo
Osito
osito
laura
Duke
duke
Rocky
rocky-sm
Dory
dory
Crimson
crimson
Ruckus
ruckus-sm
Ruger
ruger
Rusti
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Rusti
rusthomes
Rusti
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buster
buster
bo
spike
sugar
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tiger
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tye
zeus
zodar

29 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Our 3 year old lab/pyranese mix died Sunday. RIP Bear, We love you Buddy!! (Skedee, OK)

  2. How is the treatment going? We have just sent the blood sample to the lab to find out if our 6 month puppy has this problem. Fingers crossed!!

  3. Mary, I’m sorry to read the post about losing your dog. I see treatment was started and she died not to long afterwards. Do you mind telling me how long did she has the illness before treatment?

  4. We just lost our 4.5 year old Airedale Terrier yesterday from this. It was so sudden. A few days of not eating well and then he died at the vet within ours. We are devastated. We live in a suburb of Houston, Texas named League City. My dog was an inside dog and never swam anywhere.

  5. PavLab has an early detection blood test which indicates exposure to Pythium Insidiosum with a titre test. Their immunotherapy vaccines have helped many dogs survive this disease.

  6. My 6 month old female boxer puppy is not eating as well as I would like. I lost Hershey to Pythiosos earlier this year. I’m trying not to project her loss onto Pebbles. But I am concerned.

  7. Our 22 month old boxer died September 5, 2014 of Pythiosis. We live in Birmingham, AL. RIP Laney. You will forever be in our hearts.

  8. My 2 y.o. German Shepard was just diagnosed last week with Pythiosis. We live just outside of Charleston S.C.

  9. We lost our Lab/Rottweiler, Drake, on October 8, 2014, in Arkansas. I wish I had seen your website earlier, we are devastated and heartbroken.

  10. We lost our Giant Pit/Lab/GreatPyr mix, Glitch on October 15th, 2014 just shy of her first birthday (DOB 10/19/13) from pythiosis. It had taken over 75% of her intestines and was spreading elsewhere. Currently worried that her sister and another dog in our household may be sick as well. Vet today with them. Located in North Charleston, SC.

  11. My 4 year old boxer Sadie was diagnosed with this a couple weeks ago. Started her on antifungals after finding out and she had started to improve. Unfortunately after adding 2 more medications to her treatment this week she has started to become quite sick again. Does anyone know of a dog who survived this and how..?
    Tulsa Ok…;-(

  12. My 3yr old Lab mix was diagnosed in June 2014. We healed the sore on his tail but my vet read about the LSU school of Vet medicine. There is a specialist that knows all about this and studies it. We had our dog’s tail removed and he is on medicine, itraconazole 300mg a day. He has been tolerating this medicine. When his tail was removed, he was on antibiotics and lamisil along with the itraconazole. So far he seems to happy, eating and playing like normal. We are in Hattiesburg, Ms.

  13. I am also from MS and my dog has this terrible disease. Live about one hour from Hattiesburg and would love to know who your vet was.

  14. my beautiful 3 year old blue tick hound was just diagnosed with GI pythium last night we haven’t started treatment yet or even know are options . Waiting to hear back from vet. So please everybody keep him in your prayers and I’m so sorry for everyone on this post who lost a dog to this horrible disease it breaks my heart ! If anyone has any input or helpful info please share . not many vets in my area I have ever dealt with this case

  15. Our 2.5 yr old black lab Gracie has pythiosis, confirmed by pathology lab at Penn. We are in PA.
    At first, we thought it was lyme disease.
    The vet detected an intestinal mass and she had surgery.

    With each course of treatment – whether antibiotics or antifungals, she recovers for about 1-2 weeks, then regresses, throwing up and lathargic. Currently she’s on Keflex, terbenafine and itraconazole 200mg per day.

    I’m thinking about upping the itraconazole to 300 and or the immunotherapeutic vaccine?

    I’d be grateful for any informed advice.
    Ellis Wilson

  16. I lost my 20 month old German Shepherd on February 21, 2015.
    He started with diarrhea Around Feb 1st and after multiple visits to the vet testing and treating symptoms we sent for a second opinion and by that time he had lost 16 lbs and stopped eating. He was euthanized during surgery because the damage was to great. His cultures confirmed pythiosis. I am very concerned for my other two dogs. Is there some way to test for the fungus in my yard?

  17. My sweet 2yr 3 month old boxer has been fighting this for months before diagnosis. Start anti fungal meds tomorrow. Say a prayer. Auburn university say only 20% respond. We love her so so much live in greensboro. Nc

  18. My 1 1\2 yr old pit bull Bailey was diagnosed with this disease about a month ago. She was being treated for an abscess on her neck and during the draining process the wound was opened, causing her to develope the cutaneous form (skin) she has been through 2 surgeries and being treated with anti-fungal meds and prednisone as well. I’ve spent every dollar I have on her treatment because she is everything to me but the hospital wants thousands of dollars for the immunotherapy treatment. Does anyone know of any foundations or organiZations that would help.? She is responding well so far I think she has a good shot!

  19. Message for Ellis Wilson

    Ellis – I live in Delaware and my dog was diagnosed in January. Where in PA do you live? My vets (John Pote of Willowdale Veterinary Centre in Unionville, PA) and Ann Jeglum of Veterinary Oncology Center in West Chester) had not seen this disease before. Ranger had surgery to remove 25 inches of his intestines and is on terbinafine, itraconazole, metronidazole, metaclopramide, and famotidine along with B12 shots, triglycerides, and curcuvet SA150. He just finished his 3rd round of immunotherapy injections and we have ordered a 4th. His last ultrasound 2 weeks ago showed he is stable – he still has evidence of pythiosis in his lymph node and abdominal lining (not changing in size) but nothing in the intestines. He eats well and is gaining weight back. He is active – in fact I have resumed his Field Trial Training on a limited basis. My vet John Pote said he would be happy to contact your vet to see what treatment he is using and share his treatment if your vet would like.

  20. Hi Lois,
    We live in Coatesville. I suspect Gracie contacted pythiosis in Cape Hatteras.
    My black lab Gracie died about a month ago. She completed one round of immunotherapy, but it was too late coming. My vet clinic did not have any experience with pythiosis – at the end I was directing her care – which in retrospect, I wish I had done earlier. She was a great dog, tail always wagging. You can feel free to call me at 610-679-5074 if there is anything I can do for you. It appears that you are getting your dog all the right care. You may be interested to know there is a compounding pharmacy in Arizona where you can get itraconazole cheap.
    Wish you all the best…
    Ellis

  21. Ellis – thank you for responding. I am so sorry to hear of Gracie’s passing. I can only hope that Ranger’s and Gracie’s unfortunate luck to contract this disease will bring awareness in our area so others may be diagnosed earlier. I am not sure where Ranger contracted the disease – he had not been out of the area for quite some time. I have learned that some dogs are resistant and others are not. I have other labs that swim in all the same areas as Ranger and no one else has been affected. I am keeping my fingers crossed and saying daily prayers that Ranger can survive.

    I get my itraconazole from Stokes Pharmacy in NJ. I am paying $59 for 30 200mg capsules. Please provide the name of your pharmacy if your price is lower. I am very fortunate to have insurance on Ranger and Pet Plan is great to work with and has been very helpful in making sure my claims are paid promptly.

    Thanks again for responding and please keep us in your prayers.

    Lois

  22. Your price on itraconazole is a good one – hard to beat. The pharmacy I used is Diamondback drugs (866-646-2222), but as I said, you are already getting great pricing.
    God bless Ranger.
    Ellis

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I have dedicated this site to my dog, Rusti, whom I lost to Pythiosis in 2006.