Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease


General Information
Coccidioidomycosis is a disease of animals and people caused by the fungus Coccidioides immitis. The fungus is most often found in desert soil and is most apt to spread in the dry, dusty season. It infects its victims by being inhaled into the lungs. It may be contained to the lungs (called the primary pulmonary form) by the body’s defenses or it may spread (called the disseminated form) from the lungs to the bones, heart, eyes, lymph nodes, reproductive organs, and skin. The skin lesions show up as nodules (bumps) with draining openings. Although inhaling the fungus is the common method of catching the disease, the discharge from wounds may also be a threat. If the discharge is left to collect on the bandage for an extended period, the fungus in the dried discharge could be inhaled. Therefore, changing bandages often enough to prevent accumulation of discharge on the bandage can decrease the danger to people.

The disease is treatable, but generally one can expect reasonably good results only in uncomplicated, early cases. The final outcome depends on the amount of damage caused by the fungus, the willingness of the owner to provide the time and effort in medicating the pet, and the pet’s own individual response and resistance to infection.

Important Points in Treatment
1. Laboratory tests, including complete blood counts, serum chemistry profiles, cultures, and radiographs (x-rays), provide an overview of your pet’s organ system and general physical condition. It is important for certain tests to be repeated at intervals to monitor the response to treatment.
2. Treatment may be required for extended periods because the disease may recur after treatment is stopped.
3. There is little or no risk of direct transmission of the disease from your pet to people unless bandages are not changed frequently.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.