Prompt diagnosis saves Labrador from rare fungal infection

A young Labrador has survived a rare fungal infection thanks to a speedy diagnosis, emergency treatment and surgery by neurology and soft tissue specialists at Davies Veterinary Specialists, Hertfordshire.

Bridget, caused her owners alarm when her behaviour suddenly changed, becoming progressively less responsive to her family, didn’t want to eat and was very lethargic.

An MRI scan revealed marked abnormalities in the right side of Bridget’s nasal cavity and frontal sinus, extending in towards her brain. The infection was particularly severe due to its progression into the brain and her rapid deterioration.

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Analysis of a sample of the affected area confirmed Bridget had cryptococcosis, a rare fungal infection. This particular fungus, which is often inhaled through the nose, is present in soil and often spread by birds, especially pigeons.

Various methods are used to treat fungal infections of the nose and sinus. Generally, any areas of fungus growth are debrided to remove the fungal plaques and affected tissue in order to allow antifungal medications to penetrate into the tissues and be as effective as possible.

Smita Das, soft tissue specialist at Davies said: “Due to the sheer volume of the granuloma, and the fact that it had eroded the bone towards Bridget’s brain, it was deemed too dangerous to debride it with a less invasive approach such as with camera guidance (rhinoscopy).

“We removed the ‘roof’ of bone over the top of the nose and sinus on the right side in order to see all the structures and debride the abnormal tissue safely. Once the tissues were debrided, the piece of bone was replaced and the rest of the tissues brought together again. The surgery not only helped get Bridget on the road to recovery, but, happily, her lovely face did not seem too altered either.”

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