My Facebook friend Greg has experienced something with his dog that I never knew existed and it’s something all dog owners in this area should know about. It’s something that humans can get too and is picked up in wet marshy lands like the areas where many of us walk our dogs. Here’s his story and the symptoms to watch for. Let us know if you’re beloved pet experienced this and where they picked it up from.

Luckily Greg's wife had noticed a lump on the chest of their dog which prompted a visit to the vet only to find out that she had contracted blastomycosis.  Fortunately, they caught the illness early.  He further explained that they have a relative whose dog contacted blastomycosis four years ago on the Western Waterfront Trail. I haven't confirmed, but Greg also mentions Namekagon River and the Iron Range as other locations that may be harboring blastomycosis because it is apparently picked up through mold found in the wetlands near shorelines.  Why haven’t we been warned or heard about this sooner?

Greg’s "human" friend from Superior contracted blastomycosis and fortunately caught it early and was able to get treatment. Remember, it's something that can be contracted by animals and humans.  Medication to treat the disease can be costly, here are the symptoms?

*Loss of appetite (anorexia)
*Weight loss
*Eye discharge
*Eye inflammation, specifically the iris
*Difficulty breathing (e.g., coughing, wheezing and other unusual breathing sounds)
*Skin lesions, which are frequently filled with pus

It can often be misdiagnosed, so keep in mind where you've been with your pet and since we live in areas that could have this mold, be aware.  Thanks to Greg for sharing the information he has gathered through his experiences.  Like Greg, I'm curious to know if anyone else or their pet has been diagnosed with blastomycosis and where it was picked up.

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