Can CBD Help Valley Fever in Dogs?

CBD dog Health Valley Fever Dogs

If you live on the East Coast, chances are you have not heard of Valley Fever in dogs, or even humans. But, for members of our pack in the Southwest, VF is an all-too-common issue for dogs.

What is Valley Fever?

This soil-dwelling fungus, Coccidioidomycosis, also known as “California disease,” “Desert rheumatism,” and “San Joaquin Valley Fever,” is causing concern among pet owners. In Arizona, some sources say VF is reaching epidemic proportions in dogs. Knowing the cause, symptoms, and treatments for VF can protect your four-legged friends.

How do dogs contract Valley Fever?

The most common type of VF in dogs starts in the pulmonary system (lungs). VF is caused by a fungus called Coccidioides immitis, which thrives in the soil of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and southern California. It can also be found in Utah, Colorado, Mexico, and South America. Fungal spores can be kicked up in a dust storm or by a dog’s routine sniffing and digging in the ground. When inhaled, these spores enter the lungs, mature, and reproduce, posing a danger to dogs and humans alike.

Symptoms of Valley Fever in Dogs

According to the University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson, the most common early symptoms of primary pulmonary Valley Fever in dogs include:

  • coughing
  • fever
  • weight loss
  • lack of appetite
  • lack of energy

When the infection spreads outside of the lungs (or disseminates), it can infect the bones and organs. The University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson states that symptoms of disseminated VF in dogs include:

  • lameness or swelling of limbs
  • back or neck pain, with or without weakness/paralysis
  • seizures and other manifestations of brain swelling
  • soft abscess-like swelling under the skin
  • swollen lymph nodes under the chin, in front of the shoulder blades, or behind the stifles
  • non-healing skin wounds that ooze fluid
  • eye inflammation with pain or cloudiness
  • unexpected heart failure in a young dog
  • swollen testicles

Is Valley Fever contagious between pets and people?

The good news is that VF is not contagious between your dog and other pets unless the infected pet bites the healthy pet, or your dog and people. In fact, the disease of VF is rare in people. Even in situations of bites between an infected pet and a healthy pet, the odds of your healthy pet contracting the disease are still fairly low. However, you should consult your vet immediately if you think your pet has VF or might bite another pet after contracting VF.

Can you prevent Valley Fever in dogs?

Since treating the soil would be costly and nearly impossible to eliminate the fungus altogether, there is no surefire way to prevent VF. Try to avoid allowing your pet to dig in the dust outside. It may be easier to keep your pet inside or take them on walks to places with grass covering the ground.

How is valley fever in dogs treated?

Valley Fever in dogs will need to be treated with the help of your holistic veterinarian. Your dog will have to undergo testing, potentially including X-rays and a titer test. Your dog will also likely need to take an antifungal medication for up to 6 months. Introducing colloidal silver as an antifungal into your dog’s diet, as well as CBD for Dogs may also be helpful.

Can CBD help dogs with Valley Fever?

CBD oil can be helpful for dogs with valley fever because it is known to reduce inflammation. It can also help alleviate some of the symptoms of Valley Fever in dogs, including lack of appetite. Our Full Spectrum CBD for Dogs are also formulated with natural adaptogens, including essential oils which may be beneficial to pets with Valley Fever, including coconut oil which can help with coughing, and ginger oil which is an antifungal.

Learn more about Valley Fever in our recent podcast episode with Halle Stene on Your Natural Dog Podcast.