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

TOMAHAWK - Snowshoers will put their skills to the test this weekend at the Treehaven Tromp in Tomahawk.

This is the fifth year Treehaven has hosted the 5K and 10K races.

The races start at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

+ Read More
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/05/2016

- Tonight on Friday Night Blitz we will bring you scores from high school games all across North Central Wisconsin as well as highlights from the following boys basketball games:

D.C. Everest vs. Wausau West

Antigo vs. Mosinee

Rhinelander vs. Tomahawk

Marshfield vs. Merrill

That will be tonight on Friday Night Blitz at the end of Newswatch 12 at 10.

We'll have this and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign a bill that would allow people to carry concealed switchblades and knives.

The governor plans to sign the measure Saturday afternoon at the National Rifle Association and Wisconsin FORCE's annual convention in Weston. Wisconsin FORCE, or Firearm Owners, Ranges, Clubs and Educators, is an NRA-chartered association that advocates for the right to bear arms.

+ Read More

Play Video

PARK FALLS - Volunteers at Catkins Animal Rescue in Park Falls work holidays, early mornings, and countless hours.

But they say the hard work is worth it. 

"We call it volunteering, but it's basically you're an unpaid employee," said Catkins Animal Rescue Director Laura Stroud.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - With a half day of classes, students in Three Lakes found plenty to cheer about Friday morning.  But the limited hours and extended weekend weren't the only reasons for excitement.

Twenty-two speakers from nearly two dozen professions presented at the school's fourth career day—the first one held in two years.

"Last year we didn't do it and kids were mad," Principal Gene Welhoefer said.  "So that was a good sign we needed to bring it back."

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Many people struggle with their weight. But Marshfield Clinic believes its HMR Weight Management Program can help give people the tools it needs to get healthy.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Most New Year's resolutions start with the best of intentions, but sticking with them can sometimes be easier said than done.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here