Ear Infections
Flea & Tick
Heart Problems
Hot Spots
Shedding Control
Skin Irritation
Tear Stains
Urinary Infections
Weight Management
See All A-Z
Ear Infections
Flea & Tick
Heart Problems
Hot Spots
Shedding Control
Skin Irritation
Tear Stains
Urinary Infections
Weight Management
See All A-Z
Breath Fresheners
Chews & Treats
Rinses & Water Additives
Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
Ear Cleansers
Ear Infection Remedies
Ear Mite Treatments
Antibiotic Anti-Infective
Artificial Tears & Lubricants
Eye Inflammation
Tear Stain Removers
Flea & Tick Prevention
Heartworm & Flea Control
Home & Yard Treatments
Immediate Relief
Oral Flea Treatments
Tick & Flea Collars
Canned Pet Food
Dry Pet Food
Raw Pet Food
Adult Pet Food
Glucose Balance
Digestive Health & Support
Grain Free
Joint Support
Kitten Food
Puppy Food
Senior Pet Food
Skin Support
Small Breed Dog Food
Weight Loss & Management
Pet Food Storage
Joint Pain
Joint Supplements
Lifting Harness
Orthopedic Beds
Steps & Ramps for Mobility
Allergy Relief
Compound Medications
Cough Relief
Digestive Health & Enzymes
High Blood Pressure
Hormonal Endocrine
Insulin & Glucose Balance
Motion Sickness & Nausea
Seizure Disorder
Urinary Tract & Kidneys
Bowls & Elevated Feeders
Car Seats & Pet Carriers
Cat Litter
Cesar Millan Training Aids
Crates & Kennels
Drinking Fountains
First Aid
Furniture Protectors
Grooming Tools
Leashes & Harnesses
Outdoor Cat Pens
Pet Cams & Monitoring Systems
Pet Food Storage
Stain Removers
Steps & Ramps
Training Aids
Wireless Dog Fences
Fish Oils & Omega 3
Fly Control
Grooming Tools
Hairball Remedies
Itch Relief
Ringworm Treatments
Shedding Control
Skin Care Supplements
Skin Medications
Digestive Enzymes
Fish Oils & Omega 3
Liver Support
Senior Support
Whole Food Supplements
Pet Health Topics
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Top 5 Fungal Diseases in Dogs

  Michael Dym, VMD
Dr. Michael Dym
Holistic & Conventional Veterinarian ()

Fungal diseases in dogs occur sporadically throughout the United States. Fungi are widely spread throughout the environment, and many types of fungi are spread via airborne spores, which can potentially gain entrance to the body through the respiratory tract or skin. Fungi may either involve the skin or mucous membranes, or in some cases become widespread and involve multiple organs, including the lungs, liver, and brain. While hygiene is important in managing and handling dogs with fungal infections, treatment involves the use of specific antifungal drugs. Many of these diseases can be effectively controlled, but a cure is often difficult.

A dog can catch a fungal infection or disease by coming into contact with mold spores or other fungi through skin contact or inhalation.


Aspergillosis is an opportunistic fungal infection caused by the aspergillus, a species of common mold found throughout the environment. This fungi may infect dogs usually after the immune system is compromised by stress, disease, and/or drug therapies. In the local nasal form of this disease, aspergillosis is transmitted through direct contact with the fungus through your dog's nose and sinuses. In the more disseminated form of this disease occurring in other organs, it is not known how transmission occurs.

Symptoms of Aspergillosis: Symptoms of nasal aspergillosis may include sneezing, nasal pain, bleeding from the nose, decreased appetite, swollen nose, and long-term nasal discharge. The disseminated form of this disease may develop suddenly or more gradually over many months, and may include signs of spinal pain or lameness, as well as non-specific signs of illness including fever, weight loss, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Treatment Options: The imitazole class of antifungal drugs is most commonly used in fungal diseases including Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, and Fluconazole. In the nasal form of this disease, antifungals are commonly administered directly into the nose. The disseminated form is more difficult to treat and only rarely cured.



This systemic fungal disease occurs along the Eastern seaboard, in the Great Lakes region, and the Mississippi River valleys. The fungus is associated with moist rotting organic debris, often contaminated by bird droppings. The disease is typically acquired by a dog inhaling infected spores

Symptoms of Blastomycosis: Most cases of acute blastomycosis involve the respiratory system, and cause signs of coughing and often pneumonia. Weight loss and lameness is also seen. Almost one half of the cases involve the skin and eyes, where nodules may be produced in the skin that may drain pus.

Treatment Options: Treatment options for blastomycosis include Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, and Fluconazole. Prognosis is usually good for reduction of symptoms, especially when treatment is started early in the course of infection.



This fungal disease is caused by a yeast-like fungus cryptococcus neoformans, and is acquired by inhaling spores found in soil contaminated by bird droppings. In dogs, cryptococcus involves the brain, eyes, lymph nodes, and skin.

Symptoms of Cryptococcus: Approximately one half of the dogs with this fungus show respiratory signs, including nasal discharge and sometimes coughing. Signs of brain involvement include a wobbly gait, head pressing against the wall or hard surface, seizures, circling, blindness, and dementia. Eye involvement may cause varying degrees of eye inflammation, including blindness if the infection extends to the inner structures of the eyes. Swollen lymph nodes of the throat and chest may be seen. In the less common skin form of infection, cryptococcus may produce firm nodules, especially in the head area that may ulcerate and drain varying colors of pus.

Treatment Options: Oral antifungal drugs of the imitazole class are most commonly used. However the prognosis is usually guarded to poor. These drugs are partially effective when started early in the course of the disease.


Histoplasmosis (Ohio River Valley Fever)

The fungal disease histoplasmosis is found in the central United States in areas that have nitrogen-rich soil that allows the growth of the causative fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Spores are found in soil contaminated by the feces of bats, chickens, and other birds. Spores are then breathed in by dogs to cause clinical symptoms of disease. Humans are also susceptible to this fungus usually also by breathing in spores from contaminated soils.

Symptoms of Ohio River Valley Fever: In most cases, histoplasmosis causes few to minimal clinical signs, occasionally producing a mild respiratory infection. There is an acute intestinal form of this disease that affects the small intestine and colon. The main signs are weight loss and severe diarrhea. A systemic form may be seen where there is fever, weight loss, vomiting, muscle atrophy, coughing and enlargement of the tonsils and lymph nodes, as well as other organ involvement of the liver, spleen, skin, eyes, and occasionally the brain.

Treatment Options: In non-life threatening situations, oral antifungal drugs of the imitazole class including Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, and Fluconazole are particularly effective. In dogs with severe infections, the drug Amphteracin B is often added to the treatment regimen.


Coccidiomycosis (Valley Fever)

This is the most severe and life threatening of the systemic fungal diseases in dogs. Known as Valley Fever, the coccidiomycosis fungal infection is found in dry, dusty parts of the southwestern United States (including California) and Mexico. Infection occurs by inhaling spores from the environment.

Symptoms of Valley Fever: Most cases of Valley Fever show minimal to no clinical signs; however, there is a more severe form that affects the lungs and produces severe pneumonia. If the disease becomes systemic, it may affect your dog's bones, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, brain, and skin. Affected dogs will often have a chronic cough, weight loss, lameness, and fever.

Treatment Options: Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, and Fluconazole are often the drugs used; however, prolonged treatment may be needed to prevent recurrence. Relapses are common.


Vet Tip: Results of treatment with Ketoconazole and other antifungal drugs may not be seen for 1-2 weeks and the duration of treatment may last up to several months. - Michael Dym, VMD  

Help / Customer Service
My Account
PetMeds® Sites
PetMeds® Programs
Our 100% Guarantee
About Us
Contact Us
PetMeds® Help
Privacy Policy
Printable Order Form
Site Map
Vet Directory
Request a Catalog

Email Preferences
Easy refill
Track my order
My Account Page
My pet has passed away
PetMeds® Blog
PetHealth 101®
PetMeds® Charitable Causes
1-800-PetMeds® Careers
PetMeds® Investor Relations
pet meds
Pet Meds Photos
Pet Meds News
Pet Health Articles
Affiliate Program
Shelter & Rescue Program
Join our Social Network
    PetMeds® on Facebook
    PetMeds® on Twitter
    PetMeds® on YouTube
    PetMeds® Google+
    PetMeds® LinkedIn
    PetMeds® on Instagram
Copyright © 2014 PetMed Express, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Vet-VIPPSVETERINARY-VERIFIED INTERNET PHARMACY PRACTICE SITES(CM) Online Veterinary Pharmacy Services has earned Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites(CM) (Vet-VIPPS(CM)) accreditation through the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®).
Verisign Secured Click for the BBB Business Review of this Pharmacies in Pompano Beach FL
Live Chat Share Website Feedback