PHOENIX - This week is is "Valley Fever Awareness Week" and the Arizona Department of Health says 6-to-10% of dogs living in Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties will become sick with Valley Fever, but the Arizona Humane Society says there are ways you can protect your pets.
"Our dogs are out digging, we're doing gardening out in the yard, they're right there with us, they're helping, they're trying to do stuff, so we have to consider those things," Dr. Melissa Thomas said. "The Valley is booming, it's growing, there's construction, so it's in the air, it's around and these guys are sniffing and checking out every little crevice that they can."
Dr. Thomas, a veterinarian for the Arizona Humane Society, says Valley Fever is a threat all year-round and pet owners need to be aware of signs and symptoms.
"Signs and symptoms can vary from having a pet that's a little lethargic, they can run a fever, they can have incontinence, they can also just have, also have limping, they can have seizures, so the signs vary -- they really run the gamut," she said.
Although it's tough to prevent it because dogs are so active, catching the symptoms early can help with recovery. Your vet should prescribe an antifungal medication.
"The biggest thing is making sure we keep our pets healthy -- feeding them good quality diets, making sure that they are up-to-date on their and making vaccines and making sure that we try to keep their lives as stress-free as possible," Dr. Thomas said.
The Arizona Humane Society does have public clinics where anyone can come to visit a vet.
Arizona Humane Society - Veterinary Services