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Valley Fever

by Darleen Rudnick, B.S.W., M.H.N., Certified Holistic Nutritionist

The medical name for Valley Fever is coccidioidomycosis - often called "cocci" (pronounced KOK-SEE) for short. The name of the fungus, which causes Valley Fever or "cocci", is Coccidioides immitis, which grows in soils around areas of low rainfall, high summer temperatures, and moderate winter temperatures. Valley Fever is prevalent in portions of Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, desert regions, southern portions of California, and much of the southwestern United States.

Coccidioides immitis (fungal spores) become airborne when the soil is disturbed by winds, construction, farming and other activities. The infection occurs when a spore is inhaled. The infecting spores grow in the lung tissue and become microscopic cysts called "spherules" (little spheres). Each spherule is filled with even smaller endospores. As the infection in the lung increases, the spherules burst, allowing the endospores to be discharged into the lung tissue. Each of the numerous endospores may itself grow into a spherule causing the disease to progress.

Both people and pets are susceptible to this disease, but it is not a "contagious" disease, meaning it is not passed from person-to-person, or pet-to-pet, you must breathe in the spore to get it. In some cases, it can become very serious and even life threatening. Fortunately in most cases, the body will build an immunity to it.

Symptoms of Valley Fever in dogs may include:

  • Fever

  • Aching joints or lameness

  • Chills

  • Sweats

  • Fatigue

  • Cough

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Loss of appetite

  • Slight cold

  • Skin rashes


Below is a video of a dog with the "Valley Fever cough."

If you feel your pet may be suffering from this disease, For Pet Health recommends seeking veterinarian advice and a blood test or culture to determine if it is Valley Fever. If after the blood test is positive you decide to treat naturally, For Pet Health  recommends a consultation with our on-staff nutritionist.

 A consultation will include a personalized diet and holistic program suggestions, all custom-tailored to your pet's personal needs. This is particularly imperative in pets with complicated health issues, or if you've done outside reading and have conflicting information.

Contact For Pet Health today and get your loved one on the path to good health.  

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