Aspergillosis in dogs: causes, symptoms, treatment - Toutoupourlechien

Affecting the nasal cavities or the entire body, discover how this disease caused by a fungus affects the dog.

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What is aspergillosis?

Aspergillosis is a disease that results from the development of a saprophytic fungus, called Aspergillus sp., within the dog's body.

It's actually a mycosis that can affect the nasal cavities only or the whole animal's body. In the first case, we speak of nasal aspergillosis and in the second, of systemic aspergillosis. The dog can be contaminated by the respiratory or digestive tract.

What are the signs of aspergillosis in dogs?

In case of aspergillosis, the symptoms are different depending on whether it is a nasal or systemic form of the disease.

In the nasal form, we will then notice:

  • a chronic runny nose with mucopurulent discharge,
  • nosebleeds (epistaxis),
  • repeated sneezing,
  • truffle hyperkeratosis,
  • muzzle pain,
  • ulcerations and depigmentation of the wing of the nostril.

Nasal aspergillosis can progress to destruction of the bony turbinates of the nasal cavities.

When the roof of the nasal cavities is affected, neurological cerebral disorders can occur.

The systemic form of the disease is manifested by various general signs such as fever, weight loss, anorexia, vomiting and swelling of the lymph nodes as well as by more specific signs which vary according to function of the affected organ(s).It can be complicated by pneumonia or kidney failure.

How is aspergillosis diagnosed?

To confirm a diagnosis of aspergillosis, the veterinarian may use various examinations: nasal swab to perform a cytological examination and/or cultures, blood test, rhinoscopy, x-ray of the nasal cavities and computed tomography.

In the case of suspected systemic aspergillosis, the veterinarian will seek to highlight the fungus in the animal's urine. He may also use other imaging tests to assess the progression of the disease.

What is the treatment?

The different therapeutic options consist of the administration of antifungal drugs by general or local route or a surgical intervention.

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