Nemo was presented to Kingsbrook with a open sore on his leg in October of 2007. After an exam with Dr cook, a sample was sent to the lab, and a diagnosis of pythium was given. Luckily Dr Cook was able to remove the infected area, and Nemo remains health and happy to this day, he even smiles at us when he comes in for visits!
Description of Pythiosis
Pythiosis is a devastating and often fatal cause of chronic GI or cutaneous disease in dogs, cats, cattle, equines, captive polar bears and humans. It is caused by Pythium insidiosum, an aquatic pathogen belonging to the class Oomycetes. Oomycetes differ from true fungi. Pythium infections are essentially non responsive to antibiotic or antifungal treatments and surgical resection of lesions saves only 20-25% of infected animals. Many dogs with pythiosis have a history of recurrent exposure to warm freshwater habitats. However, some cases are observed in suburban house dogs with no history of access to lakes or ponds. The incidence of Pythium infections in dogs is not known, but the number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically in the last 5 years. Cases in the U.S. have gone from less than 10 a year just 5 years ago to more than 100 cases per year. Experts in the field estimate that 200-300 cases of canine pythiosis will be confirmed in 2008, and many more cases will be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Nemo looked like a little Labrador cross as a puppy. A former service dog in training, his heritage didn’t really matter – any breed (or mix) can make a good service dog. As he grew, it was apparent that he was more than just a Lab-X. Some people saw Great Dane, others saw some sort of Hound. No one could tell for certain what mix of breeds contributed to his handsome good looks. Until, that is, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital began offering the Wisdom Panel, a DNA heritage test. Just one quick blood draw was all it took to reveal they mystery of Nemo’s lineage.