Since Roxy and Otis spent six weeks digging and playing in the Sonoran Desert, one of the first things that the vet in Benson checked Roxy for was Valley Fever. Valley fever is non-discriminatory … humans can get it just as well as critters.
The following information on valley fever was taken from the CDC’s website on valley fever.
Valley fever is a fungal respiratory disease.
People (and critters) can get valley fever by breathing in the microscopic fungal spores from the air.
Most people who breathe in the spores don’t get sick.
Valley fever is hard to diagnose, as the symptoms are similar to the flu.
The fungus lives in the soil and the dust in the southwestern United States.
The fungus was recently found in south-central Washington State.
Valley fever is not contagious.
The symptoms of valley fever appear between one and three weeks after inhaling the fungal spores.
The symptoms are : fatigue ~ cough ~ fever ~ shortness of breath ~ headache ~ night sweats – muscle aches and joint pain ~ a rash on upper body or legs.
In many cases, the symptoms will disappear within a few weeks.
In severe cases, the infection can cause chronic pneumonia and the symptoms can last for years.
Over 65 percent of all valley fever cases occur in Arizona.
Thankfully, Roxy’s blood-work and x-rays showed no sign of valley fever. The vet, however, leaned toward treating her for kennel cough.
Like all good pet parents, Randy and I make sure that both Roxy and Otis are kept current on all their vaccinations and check-ups. Randy and I learned that there are many different strains of kennel cough and the vaccination addresses only the most common of the strains.
Kennel cough is a contagious upper respiratory disease.
Randy and I can attest to these symptoms of kennel cough …
… A dry, hacking cough …
… Harsh coughing is often followed by a gagging motion …
… The gagging sometimes produces a foamy mucus …
Life-threatening cases of kennel cough are extremely rare and most dogs that get kennel cough recover on their own without medication.
Since Roxy (and Otis) don’t fall into the category of ‘most’ dogs, Roxy was treated with two different antibiotics, cough medicine and an anti-inflammatory for her sore throat. While she isn’t eating much, we are so very happy that she is showing signs of returning to her normal, stubborn self.