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VF in Georgia

 
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vkennedy



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:09 am    Post subject: VF in Georgia Reply with quote

My dog Atticus was put down from Valley Fever in January 2005. This was the only case my vet had ever treated. I just learned over the Christmas Holiday 2005, that a dog rescued by a couple living in Ellijay, GA was diagnosed with VF. The vet there told them that this was about the 19th case he had treated in this State. I don't know the circumstances of where this dog came from, so it would be difficult to determine if he had ever been to one of the SW states. Has anyone heard that this fungus is spreading outside the endemic area? JK
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Ladysmith52



Joined: 18 Oct 2005
Posts: 573
Location: Bakersfield, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi JK -

I am soooo sorry to hear about Atticus and what you both went through for five years. What a sad, sad story. My condolences to you. Pets are just like our kids Sad

As for your question, I tried going online to see if I could find any info about cocci and the state of GA but came up with zilch. So it could be that the dog came from an endemic state or travelled through one at some time.

With all of the climate changes taking place in the U.S., it could also be possible that if the dog was anywhere near an endemic state and there was a big windstorm, it could have blown into a neighboring state. Who knows where all those little buggers are out there in the air!

Since I've contracted VF, I've been watching my little dog like a hawk for any symptoms. My neighbor's dog contracted VF at the same time I did (back in October 2005). He was put onto Diflucan and was doing fine, last I heard.

Take care,
Diane - CA
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JB



Joined: 29 Dec 2004
Posts: 170
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:14 pm    Post subject: VF In Georgia Reply with quote

I'm so very sorry to hear about your dog contacting this horrible disease. My heart and prayers go out to you. I know how hard it is to lose a dog like that.

What I find intersting is that you've heard of another case of VF in Georgia of all places, but I'm not surprised.

Georgia has recently been inundated with thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens who have crossed the Mexican border in places like Arizona, California, Texas.....all places endemic to Valley Fever. (Plus, the Northern deserts of Mexico).

C. Immitis is a microscopic fungus that can attach itself to clothing, backpacks, shoes, etc., these people have trekked through the desert Southwest where the microbe is rampant.

Have you ever seen someone who has hiked through the desert for days without a shower or washer and dryer handy?? They're covered in fine dust, lots of it!!

C. Immitis has been shipped, unknowingly to other countries in the very cotton that is grown and ginned in California and textile workers have become infected with Valley Fever overseas in this manner.

I believe the CDC should look into these cases of Valley Fever in a non-endemic area.

-JB- Cool
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vkennedy



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:48 am    Post subject: VF in Georgia Reply with quote

To JB -- funny you should suggest that the CDC be contacted regarding VF being in an non-endemic state. I thought that was exactly what I should do -- when my dog was first diagnosed with VF in October, 2004, I tried to contact the CDC for help many times and never receiving a response, except for one email telling me to contact the Veterinarian Assoc for the State of GA. Now all the vets I spoke with in this State had no knowledge of VF and how to treat, but I found the CDC totally indifferent and irresponsible and unwilling to acknowledge this disease. I am still just blown over by the disregard for VF and the fact that the endemic states do not post warnings for it! JK
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kat



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 912
Location: Creswell, Or

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VKennedy,
I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. They become part of the family and it seems so hard because they can't tell you where they hurt.
I have stopped smelling the cantalopes in the store to test for ripeness. No sense in taking chances.
_________________
God Bless you and keep you,
Kathy
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JB



Joined: 29 Dec 2004
Posts: 170
Location: Central California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: VF in Georgia Reply with quote

vkennedy wrote:
To JB -- funny you should suggest that the CDC be contacted regarding VF being in an non-endemic state. I thought that was exactly what I should do -- when my dog was first diagnosed with VF in October, 2004, I tried to contact the CDC for help many times and never receiving a response, except for one email telling me to contact the Veterinarian Assoc for the State of GA. Now all the vets I spoke with in this State had no knowledge of VF and how to treat, but I found the CDC totally indifferent and irresponsible and unwilling to acknowledge this disease. I am still just blown over by the disregard for VF and the fact that the endemic states do not post warnings for it! JK


This is what this website is for. Sharon and David are trying to bring attention to this disease and the CDC apparently is not that interested in something that's only "dangerous to people who live in a small endemic area....." We all know that's bull$*@&. Especially with the way people travel these days. Don't give up! I'm sure you would like to warn other dog owners of the danger out there so they won't have to watch their pet suffer as yours did. Vets need to be able to recognize this disease in dogs in non-endemic areas, because many people purchase dogs, expensive ones at that, from endemic areas all the time.

Valley Fever is no longer just a threat to people in the Southwest. The medical community, the CDC, as well as the WHO needs to address this. After all, it has a potential use as a biological weapon and there are people and pets being exposed to VF who are suffering and dying needlessly in non-endemic areas all because the medical community chooses to remain ignorant about Valley Fever.

I sometimes wonder how many people over the years have died of VF in non-endemic areas, only because of the medical community's ignorance and inability to recognize, diagnose and treat a disease they have no real awareness of. This happens frequently in endemic areas, where many doctors have had some experience with and knowledge of VF, but refused to consider it, because believe it or not, many of them believe that only frail people with compromised immune systems will get VF.

The first doctor I went to when I was finally diagnosed, actually told me it never occured to her to test me for it when I came down with pneumonia, because...."Valley Fever mostly affects people like alcoholics, street people, people with AIDS......" She actually said that and had been practicing medicine in an endemic area for over 15 years!!

This doctor let me suffer for over a month with a "mysterious case of pneumonia, fever, night sweats, skin rashes, body aches, headaches and debilitating fatigue." Duh...pretty much all the hallmarks of Valley Fever and this "physician" didn't recognize it right away. She only tested me for VF because I strongly insisted upon it. Needless to say I found another doctor right away.

"The squeeky wheel gets the oil." Maybe you should contact your local newspaper and bring your experience with VF to the attention of a health and wellness reporter.

Being in Georgia, I would think a newspaper editor would be very curious and interested in doing a story on your experience with your beloved pet. If you give them the web address to this site as well as to the Valley Fever Center for Excellence website, that may also peak their interest in doing a story and spreading the word that pets, as well as humans are at risk IN GEORGIA now of contracting a disease that was not, at one time, heard of in Georgia.

We hear reports almost daily of how Bird Flu is spreading across Asia and how West Nile Virus has spread across the US. Maybe it's time to take note that Valley Fever has now been found in Utah, Nevada and now Georgia. The endemic area is widening...why? That question needs to be answered by the experts, but I don't believe they'll take an interest in the subject unless it's "shoved in their faces."

Don't give up, keep trying to bring attention to Valley Fever and how it has touched your life. The more people educated about this disease the better.

Take care and keep us posted on how you're doing.

-JB- Cool
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vkennedy



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:57 am    Post subject: VF in GA Reply with quote

To JB: Thanks for your response and you are exactly right; however, please read some of my entries from 2005. I contacted newpapers here in GA, as well as many in AZ and CA with absolutely no response. I also contacted several government agencies, including the American Indian health agency in AZ (I understand that many Native Americans die with VF quite young), but still no response. I sent letters/emails to Oprah, Dr Phil and Erin Brokovich and absolutely nothing! It's as if there is a conspiracy to keep this under wraps -- which is exactly what is happening and I do not understand why! JK
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