Arizona has some stunningly beautiful terrain. However, though the desert can be beautiful, it also does have its own unique hazards and dangers, both for people and pets. One health issue that is common in dry, dusty areas is Valley Fever. A North Phoenix, AZ vet discusses Valley Fever in this article.

What Is Valley Fever?

Valley Fever is a disease that is spread through contaminated spores. These spores are most often found in the Southwest, as they thrive in dry, dusty areas. The disease can affect both people and pets. The disease is not contagious: it is contracted by inhaling the spores. Since dogs smell everything, they are particularly susceptible.


It usually takes about three weeks for signs of Valley Fever to appear. Coughing is one of the earliest signs of the disease. Some other common signs include limping, lameness, lethargy, weight loss, and a lack of appetite. Fido may also have swollen testicles or lymph nodes. Valley Fever can also cause eye inflammation and abscesses, and can interfere with the healing process for wounds.


Fortunately, Valley Fever is treatable. Dogs often recover with proper treatment. However, as with all medical issues in pets, the earlier it is caught and treated, the better. It’s also important to note that, left untreated, Valley Fever can be fatal. If your pup shows any signs of sickness, contact your vet right away. Once your furry buddy has been properly diagnosed, you and your vet will be able to discuss specific treatment options.


Although vaccinations are being tested, at this time, there is no vaccination for Valley Fever. Since the spores that cause Valley fever can be found in many desert environments, there really is no way to completely protect your pet. However, there are some ways to lower the chances of your furry best friend contracting the disease. Avoid taking your four-legged pal into open desert, or to areas that have not been landscaped. Places with gravel, rock, grass, or artificial turf are less likely to have spores than sandy areas. Also, keep Fido inside as much as possible on windy days and during dust storms. Ask your vet for more information about Valley Fever.

Please feel free to contact us, your North Phoenix, AZ pet hospital, for all of your canine pal’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care.