VALLEY FEVER IN DOGS: Symptoms, Treatment and Natural Remedies


You’ve probably heard of valley fever if you live in the southwestern United States. Every year, thousands of people are affected by this respiratory infection. Valley fever is caused by a fungus that can also affect dogs. Most dogs recover from this infection, but in rare cases, dogs become extremely ill. Some dogs die if they are not treated. So, in this blog post, we will look at valley fever in dogs, its symptoms, and its survival rate. Treatment and natural remedies for Valley Fever in dogs are also available.

What is Valley Fever?

Coccidioidomycosis is a condition that affects dogs, cats, livestock, and humans. It is also known as Valley Fever, desert rheumatism, San Joaquin Valley Fever, and California disease.

Valley fever is caused by Coccidiodes immitis, a pathogenic fungus that lives in soil and thrives in specific desert climates. Coccidiodes immitis can be found in the low desert regions of New Mexico, Texas, California, and especially Arizona in the United States.

It is thought that central and southern Arizona have the most dogs with Valley Fever. It is estimated that 6–10% of dogs in certain parts of Arizona will develop symptoms of Valley Fever.

What Causes Valley Fever in Dogs?

When pets inhale Coccidiodes immitis fungal spores, they develop Valley Fever. When your dog or cat inhales the spores, they develop into spherules within the pet’s lungs. Also, when a dog or cat’s immune system is strong and healthy, the body is usually able to “wall off” the spherules and stop symptoms from happening. This means that the pet may have Valley Fever but show no symptoms of it. This condition is known as asymptomatic.

If your pet is too young, too old, or has a compromised immune system, the spherules will continue to grow until they burst, releasing hundreds of endospores that can spread throughout the lungs and other parts of your pet’s body, where the cycle will begin again and the condition will worsen.

What Kinds of Animals Can Get Valley Fever?

In addition to humans, this disease has been isolated in dogs, cattle, horses, deer, elk, mules, llamas, apes, monkeys, kangaroos, wallabies, tigers, bears, badgers, otters, fish, and marine mammals. Dogs seem to be more likely to get valley fever, probably because they sniff the ground and dig in the dirt, which could expose them to a lot of spores at once.

How is Valley Fever Transmitted?

C. immitis, like many fungi, has a complicated life cycle. It has two different looks depending on whether it is in the environment or inside an animal host. When it is present in the environment, it takes the form of mold. Mold goes dormant in the soil during dry spells and can remain dormant for long periods. When it rains, the fungus grows and makes long strands of mold that spread disease. When the wind, building, farming, or digging disturbs the soil, tiny spores get into the air. Inhaling the spores causes them to transform into a yeast-like organism that infects the lungs.

Symptoms of Valley Fever In Dogs

Many dogs exposed to Coccidiodes immitis do not show any symptoms of illness. In these cases, the dog’s immune system can stop the organisms from spreading and kill them before they can multiply and make the dog sick. Valley When a dog is exposed to a lot of spores or has a weak immune system, it can get a fever.

The following are typical symptoms of valley fever in dogs that are limited to the lungs:

  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of weight

When the infection spreads outside of the lungs, additional symptoms of valley fever in dogs appear. Lameness is not uncommon because joints and bones are frequently affected. If the brain is involved, seizures may occur. Back or neck pain, abscesses, skin wounds that don’t heal properly, swollen lymph nodes, eye abnormalities, heart failure, and other symptoms are all possible.

The highest risk of exposure to Coccidiodes immitis appears to occur in Arizona during the drier months of June, July, October, and November, but this may not be the case in other parts of the country. Valley fever symptoms in dogs can appear weeks, months, or even years after exposure.

Valley Fever In Dogs Survival Rate

According to the University of Arizona, more than 90% of dogs treated for Valley Fever will survive. A bad prognosis is given to dogs whose symptoms affect many parts of their bodies, especially the brain, or who do not respond well to antifungal medicine. Even with the right treatment, dogs often get sick again, so it is important to keep a close eye on them. In general, dogs who relapse respond well to treatment again, but they may need to be on antifungal medication for the rest of their lives.

Take precautions to protect your dog’s health if you live in or visit a Valley Fever endemic area. Do everything you can to limit his exposure to soil and airborne dust. Keep your dog indoors as much as possible and walk him on paved sidewalks on a leash. However, if your dog gets Valley Fever, you don’t have to worry about her spreading the disease to you or other pets. Valley fever is spread by inhaling spores found in dirt and dust, not by coming into contact with a sick animal or person.

Diagnosis of Valley Fever in Dogs

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your dogs are showing symptoms of valley fever and you live in a state or area where valley fever is common. Fortunately, there is a Valley Fever test that can help your veterinarian make a definitive diagnosis.

When you take your dogs to the vet, he will perform some laboratory testing. He will run blood tests, urinalysis, a biochemistry profile, and any other tests he deems necessary to rule out any other conditions. He will then examine his symptoms more closely. He’ll inquire about his coughing, weight loss, and fever, as well as how long the symptoms have lasted. A serum and white blood cell test, as well as x-rays, may be performed to assist the veterinarian in making a diagnosis.

Your veterinarian may then perform a Cocci test to check for Valley Fever. This test will accurately check your dog’s blood to see if it is producing antibodies that are fighting the fungus. Your veterinarian will request a titer from the laboratory if the test yields a positive result. This test is a good way to figure out how many antibodies are being made to fight the fungus.

Other tests may be required if your dog has a low titer amount. Blood cell counts, imaging, cell examinations, and biopsies may be performed. A high titer level may be related to another type of disease, and your veterinarian will run additional laboratory panels to help him figure out what is wrong with your dog.

Treatment For Valley Fever In Dogs

Your veterinarian will prescribe antifungal medications such as fluconazole, itraconazole, and ketoconazole for the treatment of valley fever in dogs. They work well to relieve your dog’s symptoms and get rid of the fungal infection.

Most dogs with primary valley fever are treated with antifungal medicine for a long time. Your dog will require medication for six to twelve months. Your dog will need to see the vet regularly while on the medication. Bloodwork will be done to make sure that your dog’s organs, like the liver, don’t get hurt by the medicine. Once your dogs start treatment for valley fever, the symptoms usually get better in a few weeks.

If the disease has spread beyond the lungs, your dog may need to take the medication for a longer period to clear the infection. If the fungus has spread to your dog’s nervous system, it may need to take medicine for the rest of its life.

Furthermore, If your dog is critically ill and isn’t eating or drinking, your veterinarian may recommend hospitalization for a short period. To aid recovery, medical personnel can administer intravenous fluids and nutrition to your dog. Your vet may also give your pet medicine to help relieve symptoms like coughing or fever and make them feel better.

In rare cases, valley fever in dogs can get worse to the point where treatment is no longer helpful. Consult your veterinarian about your options. In some cases, palliative care or humane euthanasia may be appropriate.

How Can Valley Fever Be Prevented in Dogs?

The best way to protect your dogs is to keep them from being exposed to valley fever spores. If you live in an area where valley fever is a concern, keep your dog indoors more than outside. Prevent your dog from digging when they are outside, and keep them away from areas with loose and dusty soil, such as construction sites or areas with few ground-cover plants.

A vaccine for valley fever is currently being developed. It looked good in early clinical trials, and it could be on the market in the next few years.

Natural Remedies for Valley Fever In Dogs

Aside from the aforementioned treatment, these are the top four natural remedies that dog owners can try to prevent or cure valley fever in their dogs.

A fungus called Valley Fever is common in the southwestern parts of the United States and Mexico. Although it is not contagious, it can infect both humans and their dogs. Although a dog with a healthy immune system can usually fight off Valley Fever, the disease can be fatal for dogs who develop symptoms. Antifungal medications are the most effective way to treat the condition. It is best to work with a holistic vet if you want to treat your dogs with natural valley fever remedies.

#1. Strengthen your dog’s immune system.

Vitamin C-rich multivitamins will aid in the fight against the infection inside your dog. Unlike the traditional drugs used to treat Valley Fever, multivitamins have no side effects. The only effect they will have is to boost the dog’s immune system.

#2. Include garlic in your dog’s diet.

Garlic is well-known for its antibacterial properties. You can help your dog fight off the infection by adding raw or lightly cooked garlic to its food. However, the amount of garlic needed must be calculated based on your dog’s weight:

  • 1 clove for a dog weighing between 16 and 40 pounds (7.3 to 18.1 kg)
  • 2 cloves for a dog weighing between 41 and 70 pounds (19 to 32 kg)
  • 2.5 cloves per dog weighing between 71 and 100 pounds (32 to 45 kg)
  • 3 cloves for a dog weighing more than 100 pounds (45 kg)

#3. Make use of the Yucca Supplement.

It has been shown that natural Yucca for dogs can reduce inflammation, ease joint tension, and even heal arthritis. Giving this supplement to your dog will help them recover much faster because they will no longer have any difficulty or pain when moving around.

#4. Keep a close eye on your dog’s eating habits.

A loss of appetite is one of the side effects of Valley Fever. You will need to force your dog to eat regularly for it to fight off the fungus and boost its immune system.

Force-feeding your dog should not be done aggressively, and should only be considered if your dog is truly not eating enough. If you force-feed your dog, you might have to feed it by hand to make sure it eats.


Valley Fever is one of the most serious infectious diseases that can harm your dog’s health. If the disease is not treated properly, it is likely to relapse and eventually kill your dog.

Because this type of infectious disease is difficult to detect in its early stages, it’s always a good idea to look into possible prevention methods, especially if you live in an area where this type of fungus grows. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.

If your dog is diagnosed with Valley Fever, there is no need to panic because there are many treatments and tests available to help you figure out how to cure your pet and possibly get rid of the infection.

These treatments may cause a variety of side effects, depending on your dog’s current health. Because the infection can be fatal, you must contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice any symptoms or changes in your dog’s behavior that may indicate valley fever.

There are alternative natural remedies that you can try to help your dogs fight Valley Fever if you cannot afford expensive treatments. But if you try to cure the infection with only natural remedies, you have to stick with them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs pass valley fever to humans?

Is Valley Fever transmitted from animal to animal or from animal to human? Valley Fever is a non-contagious disease. Even if multiple animals or humans are infected in the same household, each infection is caused by inhaling soil spores. Coughing does not spread between animals or humans.

How long do dogs live with Valley Fever?

As with lung infections, the majority of dogs with disseminated disease respond well to medication and live normal lives, despite the fact that they frequently require long-term drug treatment (12–18 months).

What do you feed a dog with Valley Fever?

While some dogs with Valley Fever eat reasonably well, others avoid food entirely. These people need extra help getting the nutrition they need, like hand-feeding them tasty food (like cooked meats) or putting them in a feeding tube, or giving them medicine to stop them from feeling sick or making them hungry.

Is there a vaccination for Valley Fever in dogs?

A team led by Valley Fever Center for Excellence researchers tested a vaccine for dogs and discovered that two doses provided high levels of protection.

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