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Thread: Fungal Nasal Disease

  1. #1

    Unhappy Fungal Nasal Disease

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a bit desperate tonight after having visited a Veterinarian Specialist Centre today with my lovely Golden Retrieve Lola.
    The Specialist believes with good reason that she has a Fungal Nasal Disease AKA Aspergillosis.

    If this is the case (and what I'm preparing for) this involves very invasive treatment that really doesn't have a crash hot success rate. I'm hoping someone out there knows of or has had experience with this condition before and who I can discuss this with.

    She hasn't been diagnosed yet. I'll be booking her in tomorrow. Diagnosis involves an MRI, tissue sample and an endoscopic investigation.

    If it turns out to be the Aspergillosis, I believe treatment is very aggressive and invasive and doesn't have a very high success rate. The fungus eats away at the fine bone in the nasal cavity and if untreated will infect her brain and eyes and will eventually kill her and she will suffer.

    I thought it wouldn't hurt to give her a calcium supplement and maybe some immunity building vitamins or anything that will help boost her immune system, to help her with the fight. Any recommendations??????

    Hope someone can help me with some good advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Don't know much about this.

    Except a human friend had nasal fungus in her sinus and ended up flushing her sinus out with something called a "netty pot" every day. Yucky.

    I know how our immune system fights virus and bacteria. And the nasal system is supposed to get rid of dust and spores by being mucous flushing... I imagine a fungicide would help, but not sure what would help the dog, or what should not be encouraged up the dog's nose.

    I know that vinegar and also oil of cloves make good fungcide. Not sure if they're effective on this one. I'm thinking if this was my dog, I'd be misting in front of her nose with oil of cloves (1/4 teaspoon in 500ml water) and hoping that has a positive effect (kills the spores). It smells nice to me diluted and misted like that.

    Would the invasive treatment involve putting the dog under general anaesthetic and flushing the sinus with fungicide?

    Have you any idea the source of the fungus? Is the dog bedding or sleeping area very mildewy or mouldy or damp? Cos that would be the real worry - you have the sinuses flushed, and then the dog gets it again because where ever the source is/was is still there.

  3. #3


    Yes, the invasive treatment does involve putting the dog under general anaesthetic and flushing the sinus with fungicide, or rather filling the cavity and letting it drip out slowly. Also flushing the nose. As for the fungus, I've been trying to research this and there are a few theories. Some suggest from mildewy hay, and others speak of chicken and bird poo. We have chickens, and she's often sneaking into there pen while they are out free ranging, and I'm considering getting rid of the chickens.

    However the vet specialist stated that the fungus is found everywhere, and if you test most dogs, most dogs have a antibodies for it, its just that some dogs react to it and most dont. A bit like glandular fever in humans, it lives in all of us, but only if we have an immunity problem does it become a problem.

    Her bedding is fine, she sleeps in doors and there is no mildew in the house.

    I am worried about reinfection. I'll be discussing this at length with my vet very soon.

    I should also mention, that in order to fill the sinus cavity with fungicide, they have to drill little holes through her skull to get it in there.
    Last edited by Lola&Mez; 05-08-2012 at 11:17 PM.

  4. #4


    Know nothing, sorry, but wanted to send best wishes and hugs. I know that fungi can be a lot nastier than most people realise. Have you asked a prof at uni who THE experts on this subject, are and what they would suggest, if it was their dog. They usually won't answer What should I do? but you can ask them what they would do if it was their dog. Tho' they can be tougher minded, after all they've seen. You can ask if there is anything else they would do, if it was their dog. All best wishes.

  5. #5


    I have treated quite a few humans HIV+ive who get aspergillosis.
    It will affect humans who are imunosuppressed for any reason (post transplant/ HIV etc).
    Treatment is with agressive antifungal IV daily for weeks sometimes.

    I would be asking the vet if human grade oral fluconazole tabs would wk? it would be expensive and daily tabs but could work. Also if they have explored any reason the dog may be immunosuppressed?

    I would also be taking all grains and sugars out of the diet as fungus is drawn to these.

    Best of luck.

  6. #6


    Thanks. I've been sporadically feeding her Vets all natural, but I've now got her on that exclusively in the hope it will help. Also, after contacting them, I'm going to try the skin & coat formula and the omega oil blend to try and give her immune system a boost. I guess her regular bread treats are going to be out of the question too.

    I'm also going to try and treat the entire back yard in some sort of anti fungal product??? I will have to research this.

    Her diagnostic procedure is booked for Tuesday. Hopefully we will get a better idea on how to treat her and what to treat her with then. It appears, but the vets advice and by doing a bit of research over the net that the procedure recommended to me is by far the best. They have anti fungal tabs, but the success rate on those are significantly less and they can cause side effects with long term use such as liver damage
    The first treatment I was referring too is to inject her sinus cavities with an anti fungal cream as well as the nasal passages, under general anesthesia , and rotating her every 15 mins over an hour to make sure it disperses throughout the cavities.

    Although research claims this has a 90% success rate, the vet has since told me that this was done from research on small groups and since this method has been used more and more they've found out that success rates are significantly less and some times multiple treatments and test are required and are expensive. But what can you do? As a very last last resort, when the first treatment or tabs don't work, they cut open the dogs muzzle on either side and fill her nasal cavities with iodine swabs. This is super intrusive and I would imagine incredibly cruel and I don't know if I could put her through that.

    I figure if I try and prevent opportunity of reinfection, treat it properly and aggressively to start with and try my best to build up her immune system, we're in with a good chance.

    However, if there are cavities in her skull from her sinus to her brain (due to the fungus eating it away or otherwise??? But apparently its possible) she can only be treated with Tabs.

    And no, they haven't looked into why she is immunosuppressed. I'm not sure if this will be part of the diagnostic testing but I think I will ask. Or just ask my regular vet to do some blood work.
    Last edited by Lola&Mez; 05-09-2012 at 10:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I don't understand why they need to drill holes through her skull - surely that would just provide more pathways for the fungus if it comes back.

    Definitely separate the chickens from the dog. There are lots of garden fungicides of varying degrees of toxicity - ie how long before you could eat the plants or how long you have to keep pets off. One is called "Kocide" and is copper based. Milk diluted 1 part to 10 can help prevent mildew, as does vinegar (1 cup per litre?) and oil of cloves (1/2 teaspoon per litre water). There are probably some bird safe fungicides too. Lime Sulphur or wettable sulphur is one of the least toxic garden ones, though it's very stinky when applied for a day or so.

    Fungus can build up resistance to what ever you use, so it pays to vary what you use.

  8. #8


    [QUOTE=Hyacinth;165791]I don't understand why they need to drill holes through her skull - surely that would just provide more pathways for the fungus if it comes back.

    Apparently they can't check for certainty if the fungus is inside the sinus cavities, but more often than not it has spread in there. The only way to access a dogs sinus cavity (the one at the top of the skull) is via what they call a needle through the bone (I call it a drill, because from my point of view, that's what it is). This is the only way they can fill the cavity effectively with the fungicide. If they don't do it, then its a pointless procedure because the sinus will keep infecting the rest of the nasal passage, and it will eat away at the bone in there. I don't think there will opportunity to reinfect through the holes, as all the fungus has been killed off and the skin will heal and the area will be protected once again.

    I've got plans this weekend to put fungicide over the area that used to be the compost heap, and I'm still undecided about whether to take measures to keep the dog away from the chickens (its hard cos I have a suburban backyard and the chickens take up a whole corner). I'm thinking I'll create a small trap door in the bigger door to the pen so the chickens can come out during the day to free range but the dog cant go in.
    In the past she's been free to wonder in and out as she pleases....some times stealing eggs (the wench).
    But I figure, if my chickens cant free range, there's no point having them at all.

    I will def try the vinegar dilution and the clove oil too. I didn't think of that and a much better idea.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    small trap door for the chooks seems like a good idea.

    Keeping your own chickens - means you have control over their cage space and food - that's better than you get with most battery chooks and eggs.

    I love how advertisers are marketing their products as "hormone free" but neglecting to mention they make up for it with antibiotic over use. And that's bad for all of us because it makes resistant bacteria and super bugs.

    I'm surprised the vets can't access the sinus - up the dog's nose - same as everything else does.

  10. #10


    The scroll like bone formations up the nose make it impossible to access the sinus with anything from the nasal passage. And in order to insure that the entire cavity is filled properly, this is the best way. And the sinus will also leak the cream over a period of time which will slowly drip the cream through the nasal cavity over a 24 hr period, once the dog has come home which is a continual treatment.

    This is proven by the experts to be the best method.

    I have faith in my Vet specialist. I cant see any reason why she would do an unnecessary treatment. Tabs are the only other option, and with a success rate of only 50% and causes liver damage.

    Have I mentioned that my dog was the runt of the litter? I wonder if this is why her immune system doesn't seem to be so great.??
    Last edited by Lola&Mez; 05-10-2012 at 06:15 PM.

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