Tucson: Walk to Cure Valley Fever – March 18by Karyn Zoldan on Mar. 12, 2012, under Animal Events, Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged, Greyhounds, Pet Health & Safety
Sunday, March 18 – 2012 Walk to Cure Valley Fever
7:30 to 10:30 a.m.
Reid Park – Ramada 14 (Country Club/22nd St)
Valley Fever is mainly a Southwest disease, affecting people and animals right here in Tucson, parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Two-thirds of reported cases occur in Arizona.
Valley Fever is caused by a fungus called coccidioidomycosis. It is a non-communicable disease which means it cannot be passed from one person to another or one dog to another. Valley Fever is contracted by inhaling fungal spores. These spores thrive in climates with little rainfall, mild winters, and hot summers.
If you are moving to Tucson or parts of Arizona with your pets from other parts of the country or the world, please learn about Valley Fever. As an aside, I have a friend who moved here from Guam with five dogs and all contracted Valley Fever within a year.
Unlike humans who complain, pet owners must be vigilant and observe pets for symptoms or when something is just not right. Common symptoms are lameness, lack of appetite/weight loss, fever, cough, and fatigue but can also include seizures, uveitis or blindness, swollen lymph nodes, and organ failure. To diagnose, a veterinarian will have to know where the pet lived/traveled, do a physical examination, blood panel, and x-rays for starters. The most used treatment is an antifungal medication.
Along with a Walk to Cure Valley Fever ($25/pp) this Sunday, there will be dog fun runs for agility, obedience, and rally as well as cool stuff to buy for you and your dogs. One fun run is $5 or three for $10. A pawsitively good time will be had by all!
Proceeds benefit the Valley Fever Center for Excellence and their mission of finding a cure for Valley Fever and raising awareness about the disease. Registration fees do not qualify as a tax deductible contribution. The Walk is organized by a collaboration of the Tucson Kennel Club and volunteers of the Valley Fever Alliance.
(Photo of my greyhound Jett who has been diagnosed with Valley Fever. Soon after I adopted him, I noticed he had a deep cough. His first titer was 1:4 which is borderline. My vet opted not to start him on any meds and six months later, he was tested again and his titer was below borderline. He is regularly monitored. So far he has not taken any medication.)