Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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

A warning to pet owners
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

CANTON, MI - Student across the country walked out of theirs schools today, in part for the Columbine anniversary, but to also protest gun violence.

In Michigan, hundreds of student from three different high schools gathered on a campus football field.

In New York, Students staged a mass "die-in" on the steps of the State Capitol to call for stricter gun control laws.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - A member of the Merrill School Forest Program received special recognition on Friday. Director Russell Noland earned a LEAF award from Wisconsin's School Forest Program.

Students, parents, and other community members came together to witness the award presentation.

The award honors people that excel in leading learning experiences and activities in forestry.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Sixty-two-year-old Kenneth Welsh lasted just eight days as a free man before being arrested in Oneida County again.

Welsh is now in Oneida County Jail, accused of making terrorist threats.

Those threats put hospitals in Rhinelander and Tomahawk on lockdown on Thursday.

Oneida County Sheriff Grady Hartman said Welsh made the threats to a hospice company after they withdrew service from his terminally-ill wife.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - A wild deer in Oneida County tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease.

The DNR says a deer found in Crescent Township had CWD. 

+ Read More

MADISON - Researchers examining forests in northern Wisconsin say Native American reservations have older trees and better plant diversity and tree regeneration than surrounding state or national forests.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that Dartmouth College and University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers recently published their findings in an issue of the Ecology and Society journal. Researchers studied forests on four Native American reservations.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - A Northwoods group that supports victims of domestic abuse or sexual assault took the time to thank those whose support makes the program possible. HAVEN (Household Abuse Victims Emergency Network) hosted an open house on Friday in Merrill. 

The open house was held in part to celebrate the program's 35th anniversary. It also allowed people who have supported HAVEN over the years to get a tour of the facility and get to know the employees there. 

+ Read More

Play Video

CRANDON - With wide stretches of crusty white snow in all directions, the Crandon High School baseball and softball fields stand out as two big brown blobs; beautiful in the eyes of Josh Jaeger.

"It makes it look like I'm a genius, that I know exactly how to do all these chemistry experiments to melt snow faster and it's simply just a trick that I stumbled upon." Jaeger said.

The first-year activities director walked around the fields Friday just two days after it was covered in "deep drifts," as Jaeger described it.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here