In Phoenix, more dogs are diagnosed with Valley Fever

Veterinarians are seeing an increase in valley fever in dogs

Experts say there are more cases when more people move down into the valley, in addition to an increase in construction projects.

Vets and pharmacies in the valley are seeing an increase in dogs diagnosed with Valley Fever.

Eight-year-old Cooper was diagnosed with the disease after playing with new landscaping and construction in a backyard.

“We noticed he was coughing and sluggish and had poor appetite,” said Chasity, who owns Cooper.

Cooper’s symptoms scared Chasity, but they quickly got him a drug called Zoomies at the Civic Center Pharmacy.

“We’ve seen a really big surge in our prescription veterinary drug business over the past few months,” said Tenille Davis, pharmacist at Civic Center Pharmacy.

Davis says the increase is due to the number of people moving to Arizona, more people traveling during COVID, and the overall construction.

Valley fever is an infection caused by a soil fungus, and dogs are susceptible to it because they dig in the dirt and inhale the spores.

“Many dogs in Arizona, about 10% per year, are diagnosed with Valley Fever and prescribed antifungal drugs,” Davis said.

Pharamacy offers unique medications for dogs with Valley Fever

The drug in the Civic Center Pharmacy is unique in that it is composed on-site. Use human grade ingredients and they can make them with a taste.

“We can make a bacon-flavored treat or suspension in it. Some dogs like marshmallow-flavored. We have many options here for pets,” said Davis.

Many dogs will need to take this drug for six to 12 months. After Cooper took his medication, he finally got back to himself.

“He’s fine,” said Chasity. “He’s a healthy dog, he’s back to normal.”

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