Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

A warning to pet ownersSubmitted: 08/30/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - If you own a pet, you know they can become another member of the family.

You want to protect them from illnesses just like other members of your family.

But there's one infection here in the Northwoods that's not preventable.

"She just loves being around people. And loves just giving so much. Everybody says she was a good spirit."

Cheryl Lipori remembers her dog, Lehlo as an active, loving companion.

Lehlo loved to run through the field behind her house.

But two weeks ago, Lehlo started limping.

"She started crying about her leg and her back," Lipori explains.

After going to multiple vets, Cheryl took Lehlo to a few vets here, and then to the Fox Valley Animal Referral Center in Appleton.

They diagnosed her with Blastomycosis.

"It's a fungus that lives in the soil. It likes moist soils. Some swamps, riverbeds,[in] those areas it is most prevalent," explains Veterinarian Alison French.

Dr. French did not treat Lehlo but she has treated many dogs and even cats with Blastomycosis.

She says the survival rate in most pets she treats is about 50 percent.

Symptoms can take months to show up.

For Lehlo, it was too late.

"It just got so bad. She couldn't breathe anymore. There was a point when they thought she was going to go into cardiac arrest because she was breathing so heavy," says Lipori.

Lehlo's organs failed and she died less than two weeks after showing any symptoms. Cheryl and her husband spent more than $10,000 dollars trying to save Lehlo (see the link below to help pay for her medical treatments).

"It can present in any form, in any way. Respiratory is the most common but I've seen it everywhere. I've seen it affect eyes. I've seen it affect the brain where they're having seizures and they can't walk. I've seen it affect every organ there is," adds French.

Wisconsin is one of just a few states where the fungus is prevalent.

There is no real way to prevent Blastomycosis.

"Me and my husband, we're still almost in disbelief as to what happened. We keep looking around for her," says Lipori.

Cheryl now worries about her 5-month old German Shepherd, Walter.

She got Walter to keep Lehlo company.

Now she's worried Walter could get Blastomycosis.

"Be very aware of your dog. Only you know your dog's symptoms, pretty much better than anybody, you know. And don't just take one vet's word, you know, look around, ask call, really look at these symptoms," Lipori says.

A warning to other pet owners so they won't have to live through the same nightmare.

It is also important to note that humans can become infected with Blastomycosis.

The largest outbreak of the infection was in Marathon County in 2010.

55 people got it.

Two died.

Related Weblinks:
Help pay for Lehlo's medical bills

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - The "Kids on the Block" call themselves as a group of misfit kids playing with misfit puppets.

But the performance they put on aims to inspire.

About a dozen middle and high school students from West Iron High School in Iron River, Mich., make up the group. On Tuesday, they brought their act to Wisconsin to perform before third, fourth, and fifth graders at Eagle River Elementary School.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - The American Civil Liberties Union claims Milwaukee police target black and Latino residents with a stop and frisk program.

A lawsuit is being filed in federal court on behalf of six black and Latino plaintiffs.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People will use tax preparers and online sites to file their tax returns. 

Here's information that accountants think they should know. 

Matthew Whalen is the Manager of Taxation at Northland CPAs in Rhinelander. 

He often gets calls from clients about messages they received from the IRS.

"They [get] a phone call from the IRS that says they're filing a lawsuit against the client. 

That is entirely false that's just a scam artist trying to get you to wire money to them. 

The IRS and the department of revenue will only send letters," said Whalen.

The IRS and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue only send real paper letter sin the mail. 

They will never call you.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Kim Kargus-Myers knew she'd need to do some lifting Tuesday afternoon.  The Lakeland Union Student Council adviser raised a big trophy above her head.

"Very heavy, it's heavier than my children," Kargus-Myers laughed while speaking of the award.  "It felt great, I got my workout in for the day."

Kargus-Meyers stood proud in the LUHS field house, letting hundreds of students know that trophy is theirs.

"It was a special moment," Kargus-Meyers said.

+ Read More

PLOVER - Police make a second arrest in an armed robbery that happened in Plover over the weekend.

Plover Police say they picked up 20-year-old Andrew Jelinski, who's from Stevens Point, on Monday afternoon.

+ Read More

Play Video

NORTHWOODS - Firefighters in Vilas County put out Monday's house fire on Highway 17 without anyone getting hurt. Many have put out more fires than they can count. But all of them experienced a first Monday. The Eagle River Area fire department used a mutual aid system that is just beginning to grow in Vilas County.

"It allows you to focus on the incident as opposed to the resources that you have," said Eagle River Area Fire Chief Michael Anderson.

+ Read More

MADISON - Two-term incumbent state Superintendent Tony Evers will face former Beloit superintendent Lowell Holtz in the April 4 election to be the state's top education official, after the two longtime educators advanced in Tuesday's primary.

Former Dodgeville administrator John Humphries, who tried to cast himself as more conservative than Evers but more bipartisan than Holtz, finished a distant third and was eliminated.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here