Diabetic dog with Valley Fever

by Denise Campbell

About 3 weeks after spending a couple of weeks in the Phoenix area, my 8 year old diabetic dog quit eating, became depressed, and started coughing. My vet did a x-ray and timmer test which came back negative about a month ago.

She continues to refuse to eat, has lost about 1/5 of her body weight, and coughs. She is a Rottweiler and did some digging in the yard in Phoenix as did our two younger dogs. One of those has coughed here and there but seems to be fine.

Should I have her retested for Valley Fever?

Suggestion from Our Vet

Hi Denise,

Valley fever is certainly a possibility based on your dog’s clinical signs and travel to the Phoenix area, but so are a lot of other diseases.

First of all, I’m not sure what you mean by a “timmer” test. Are you saying that your dog was tested for Valley fever about 3 weeks after returning from Phoenix and was negative. If this is the case, it is unlikely (although not impossible) that retesting would give different results.

At this point, I think rechecking chest x-rays and a physical exam (to compare a month ago to now), blood work (including a heartworm test), and a urinalysis is the place to start.

If the answer is still not evident, I’d consider a tracheal wash to look for abnormal cells or microorganisms in the respiratory tract.

I’m also concerned that your dog is diabetic and is not eating. If she is on insulin, you need to very carefully match her insulin dose to her caloric intake to avoid a potentially life threatening episode of hypoglycemia.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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