Swamp cancer isn’t really cancer, but the name of a parasitic infection that is extremely dangerous to dogs.
Many dogs have reportedly died after contracting this infection, and those who struggled are here to tell us what to be aware of, in order to save our dogs from the agony.
One woman in Florida is speaking up about swamp cancer. Efram Goldberg’s dog, Darwin, was diagnosed with pythiosis, or swamp cancer. Darwin was busy playing with his ball and contracted the parasite when he chased his ball into a nearby swamp. Now, dogs chase their balls into swamps most of the time, and usually we worry about a dirty dog, not dangerous spores attached to their bodies ready to wreak havoc.
Pythiosis start by damaging the skin and then infecting the lungs, brain, sinuses, and gastrointestinal tract. According to experts, 60% of dogs who contract this parasite survive, but when the infection spreads to the lungs, there is little chance of survival. Sadly, the parasite had invaded Darwin’s lungs. The family were hopeful, but sadly, their dreams were shattered because despite all the medical help he received, Darwin passed away.
Here’s what the family had to say about him and his health,
“It is with a broken heart that I am posting this, Darwin passed away yesterday evening. I have not been able to compose myself enough to post it, so please forgive the delay. He did not die alone, his Mommy was there and I am grateful he spent his final moments in his home and that he died quickly.
Starting two weeks ago, Darwin’s symptoms worsened considerably and he was having trouble breathing and throwing up often. I took him to the UF Emergency room last Sunday and they kept him overnight for observation and although he was stable, they could not figure out if he got worse from inhaling chlorinated pool water or his disease progressing. The past week Marianna and I tried our best to keep him happy and comfortable. We were cooking him ground turkey and rice every night and doing whatever we could to spoil him. We were planning to take him up to UF tomorrow to try and figure out what was causing his worsened symptoms. Two nights ago, I played catch with Darwin for 45 minutes and yesterday I was with him for an hour in the morning before school. I went home before teaching and found Darwin sleeping in my bed which he only does when he doesnt feel well. I hung out with him for a little bit and that was the last time I saw him alive. I asked Marianna to check up on him and take him out when she got off work and after she got there he started throwing up blood and soon collapsed. There was nothing anyone could have done, and by the time I got home he had already died. I was always worried he would die alone, and I am grateful his last moments were spent with his mommy.
The past four months have been extremely difficult and this was not the outcome that we were hoping for. Once the disease was found in his trachea, we knew his chances were low, but we always had hope that he would get better. Although Darwin lived a short life, the impact he made on those who loved him will forever be a testament to what a wonderful dog he was. Without everyone’s support Darwin’s life would have ended a couple of months ago. Each day with him was a blessing and the memories we made will be with us for the rest of our lives.”
Rest in peace, Darwin.
Please people, be careful. Be extra careful. Please speak to your vet to find out how you can prevent your dogs from contracting this deadly parasite.
Feature Image Source: Pixabay