Pythiosis Is A Rare Fungal Infection That Can Affect The Skin Or Gastrointestinal Tract
Pythiosis is a rare fungal infection. It can affect the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. It is caused by the aquatic mold Pythium insidiosum. The infection is usually contracted when animals with open sores drink, stand, or swim in stagnant or contaminated water. Pythiosis can cause weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea. It also can cause ulcerative colitis, draining lumps and fistulas that never seem to completely heal. Severe cases can lead to blockages in the dog's intestines. Dogs with this disease are lethargic. Pythium is found in unclean or stagnant water in ponds, bayous, or swamps. It's mostly found in the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. The mold enters the dog’s system through a break or a sore on the skin. It cannot be treated based solely on a patient's history of swimming in a pond. Your vet may want to run various lab tests to check for signs of infection. Antifungals can be used but only around 10 percent of cases fully recover from medications alone. The only truly curative measure for this condition is complete surgical removal. Pythia is a very serious condition. It affects dogs and their owners. If you live in the Gulf states, keeping your dog from swimming in and drinking unclean, stagnant water is the best way to protect your dog. .