Tips

HOW TO FEED DESERT DEFENSE:
-We recommend mixing DD in a little canned food right before the meal. Use a high protein, low starch/grain-free canned food such as Evanger’s or Wild Calling.
-Start with a small amount of DD and build the dose. Give only once daily in the AM to ensure that your pet is tolerating the formula. Once you are comfortable that your pet is tolerating DD in the AM begin loading the evening dose.
-If you are giving anti-fungal medications make sure you give those after a full meal as they can cause stomach upset. It is not recommended to use DD with itraconazole or ketoconazole.
-We do not recommend the use of DD concurrently when using multiple pharmaceutical drugs at the same time with your pet. It is unknown what biological reactions are taking place among the current applications of antifungals, steroids, antibiotics, pain-meds and antihistamines that are being given together. It’s best not to add botanicals to this mixture.

HELPFUL TIPS FOR UNDERSTANDING AND DEALING WITH VALLEY FEVER IN YOUR PET
Tip #1: If you have an intact female dog, try to avoid running titers during or soon
     after the heat cycle. The hormone flux can cause a temporary increase in VF titer numbers
Tip #2: Remember just because you or your dog has a VF titer it does not necessarily mean that either of you are sick it can simply mean you have been exposed to the fungus and drug medication is not warranted. This is a good time to get your dog on our Yeast, Fungal & Mold Support.

Tip #3 for Valley Fever: Feed a high quality low starch diet to your dogs. Please no brewers yeast or mushroom products. Watch sugars!

#4 Tip for Valley Fever: Do not vaccinate your dog if sick with Valley Fever. It takes the immune system’s eye off the ball and can make your dog sicker.

#5 Valley Fever tip of the day: Remember when you go the vet to get a copy of your dog’s blood work and the actual Valley Fever titer results. Titers measure the antibody response that your dog has created to defend against the fungal organism and often parallel the activity. Titers double so it can be very scary when you see them jump for instance 1:2, 1:4, 1:8, 1:16, 1:32 and up but that is how they are measured.

#6 Valley Fever tip of the day: Most veterinarians use Valley Fever titers, symptoms and sometimes other diagnostic methods to determine whether a pet has VF. Symptoms are a crucial indicator so it is important to keep a daily journal to keep track of the these and also as a measure of improvement or decline.

#7 Valley Fever tips of the day (short-form): If you live of visit the Southwest be proactive and run a Valley Fever titer as part of your pet’s annual wellness exam. There are several packages available through the diagnostic labs. Long-form is below. #7 Valley Fever tip of the day: Idexx and Antech Diagnostic Laboratories both offer blood work packages that provide Valley Fever titers. These packages include a T4 which is one of the thyroid hormone measures. A Chem 27 or Superchem which is actually the metabolic panel that includes 27 biomarkers such as globulins and calcium. A Comprehensive Complete Blood Count which is your dogs immune blood fighting parameters such as red blood cells and white blood cell lines. And the Coccidioides Immunodiffusion Titer. This titer is measured by two immunoglobulin response mechanisms. One is IgG and this is normally what is positive whether your dog is sick or exposed to VF. The second is IgM and this tends to be more of an indicator of a recent exposure or active, new infection. The Idexx package is normally called Coccidioides Profile and Antech’s package is called Desert Disease Profile. Prices for these packages vary by vet clinic as it is a retail product. If you live or visit the Southwest plan on making this a part of your dog’s annual wellness check. We recommend starting at 6 months of age to obtain a baseline. Prices vary from $110 and up. Remember just because there is a titer it does not mean your dog is sick with Valley Fever.
#8 Valley Fever tip of the day: VF can show up as a rash, blotches, hotspots or lesions on your pet’s skin. These skin issues are frequently misdiagnosed. We recommend this little home remedy to help speed healing: mix 1/3 organic apple cider vinegar (with mother) plus 1/3 white vinegar and 1/3 distilled water in spray bottle; per cup of this mixture add several drops of Tea Tree oil and natural Aloe Vera and shake. Spray several times daily avoiding sensitive skin.

#9 Valley Fever Tip-of-the-Day: #1 Myth debunked – Current thinking, medicate until your dog has a negative VF titer and your pet will have immunity for life. 1) A percentage of VF dogs do not even have a titer 2) Many dogs never achieve a negative titer 3) In cases were the dog does achieve a negative titer frequently it flares up again 4) VF is put into remission and controlled by the immune system 5) VF is not cured by azole drugs but inhibited. This action is called fungistatic. http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fungistatic 

#10 Valley Fever Tip-of-the-Day: Dust carries the fungal spores that cause VF, and also dust mites and other little pathogens. To help eliminate these critters, first get a box of 20 Mule Team borax detergent booster and vacuum some of this up into the vacuum bag. The borax will help eliminate pathogens in the bag. Then vacuum as much dust off of furniture and floors as possible. Finally wipe remaining non-fabric and safe, user-friendly surfaces with a vinegar (1 part) and water (5 parts) solution to get any residual.