Canine coccidioidomycosis, a systemic fungal infection endemic to arid and semiarid regions of North, Central, and South America, is commonly diagnosed in dogs living in or traveling through lower Sonoran life zones in the states of California and Arizona. Canine and human cases have geographic overlap. Similarities between clinical coccidioidomycosis in dogs and humans include asymptomatic infection, primary respiratory disease and disseminated disease. Differences include a high rate of dissemination in dogs, differences in predilection of dissemination sites, and a granulomatous or diffuse meningoencephalopathic form in the canine central nervous system (CNS) without the obstructive component seen in humans. Dogs presenting with CNS coccidioidomycosis most commonly experience seizures. Prior disease history and serology are unreliable indicators of CNS coccidioidomycosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is advantageous for diagnosis of CNS coccidioidomycosis in dogs. Long-term administration of antifungal medication is promoted for treatment of both primary and disseminated coccidioidomycosis in dogs. Supportive treatment addressing pain, fever, inappetance, coughing, and other clinical signs improves patient care. Glucocorticoids and or anticonvulsants are also recommended for canine disseminated CNS disease. Protracted treatment times, lack of owner compliance, failure of the disease to respond to the first antifungal drug selected, and high cost are challenges of successfully treating dogs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases