Valley Fever

Nevada is a beautiful area of the country, with a warm and comfortable climate for people as well as our precious pets. Our unique climate and geography makes it a wonderful place to live. However, our warm and dry weather is also the home of a fungus that grows in the American Southwest that can cause coccidioidomycosis (also known as “valley fever”, “California disease”, or “desert fever”). Fortunately, the experienced veterinarians at Virgin Valley Veterinary Hospital have much experience in diagnosing and treating valley fever in Mesquite, Nevada and the surrounding areas, and they will bring this same level of care to your furry family member as well.

What is valley fever?
Valley fever is a disease that is caused when a fungus that grows in the soil in our hot and arid climate is inhaled. Not only are our pet companions affected, cattle, deer, elk, horses, fish, and even people are susceptible as well. The fungus is inhaled into the lungs, and begins to cause an infection that can spread throughout the entire body. There is no way to prevent valley fever in our pets, and it must be diagnosed and treated symptomatically by a veterinarian.

What are the symptoms of valley fever?
There are numerous symptoms for an animal infected with the fungus which causes valley fever. Coughing, fever, lack of appetite, and lethargy are normally seen when the fungus is limited to the lungs. If it is spread to other parts of the body, painful and swollen joints, and lameness can also be observed, along with fever and inappetence.

Can valley fever be spread to my other pets or humans?
Fortunately there is no way for valley fever to be spread from one pet to another, or to people from animals. Also, humans with valley fever do not pose a risk to transmit the disease to their pets.

How is valley fever diagnosed and treated?
The caring veterinarians at Virgin Valley Veterinary Hospital can typically diagnose valley fever with a blood test, and x-rays as needed. Pets that have acquired valley fever can normally be successfully treated when diagnosed in early phases of the disease. Treatment entails administering anti-fungal drugs for six months, up to one year or longer, depending on how serious the disease is in the individual pet.

If you suspect your furry family member may be displaying signs of valley fever, please call Virgin Valley Veterinary Hospital right away. Left untreated, valley fever can be a fatal disease. Our compassionate staff will set up an appointment to have your precious pet to be seen quickly and in the event valley fever is found, treatment can begin immediately.