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

MADISON - University of Wisconsin System officials are poised to raise out-of-state and graduate tuition again to help offset the impact of Gov. Scott Walker's resident undergraduate tuition freeze.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on a plan Thursday that would raise out-of-state and graduate tuition by hundreds of dollars at six four-year campuses and all the system's two-year schools.

The largest increase would come at UW-Madison, which has proposed raising nonresident undergraduate tuition by $2,000 in each of the next two years and raising tuition for some graduate programs by as much as $5,000 annually.

The regents in 2015 approved raising nonresident and graduate tuition at eight four-year campuses and this past spring signed off on raising nonresident and graduate tuition at five schools.

+ Read More

MADISON - Road builders, local governments, business leaders, agricultural interests and environmentalists are all getting a chance to weigh in on how to pay for improving Wisconsin's roads.

The state Assembly's Transportation Committee scheduled an informational hearing for Tuesday on the topic.

The state Department of Transportation faces a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall, which it is proposing solving through increased borrowing and delaying work on major projects.

Republican lawmakers are split on whether raising taxes and fees should also be considered as part of the mix.

+ Read More

Play Video

LINCOLN COUNTY - Prosecutors often struggle to turn a "He said, She said" case into a trial.

But the Lincoln County District Attorney's Office thinks it has enough to send a Merrill Police and Fire Commission member to prison.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Crescent Fire Department spent years trying to find a good place for a town pavilion. It turns out the best spot was right in its own backyard.

+ Read More

Play Video

FLORENCE COUNTY - Federal investigators will interview employees at a Florence County sawmill in the near future.

They'll try to piece together what happened in the death of John Chitko at the Chitko Brothers Mill in Tipler last month.

The Appleton office of OSHA is in charge of the investigation. It could propose fining the company if it finds safety violations. If so, those fines would have to be imposed within six months.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINCOQUA - What's the holiday season without some Christmas carols?

The third Annual Carols in the Commons at Lakeland Union High School brought together hundreds of people together Monday night.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAND O' LAKES - Eric Hedberg dreams of more than a white Christmas.

"Everyone gathered around the tree watching Christmas movies, exchanging presents, taking my new niece sledding down the hill outside," said Hedberg.

This Christmas, the 17-year-old from Land O' Lakes wants his family together because this holiday is one that, six months ago, he wasn't sure if he would see.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here