Treatment of Pythiosis

Most dogs are naturally resistant to pythium insidiosum. Dogs who become infected with the pathogen are unable to fight the disease due to a weakened immune system. This may be due to genetic factors or injuries which allow the pathogen access.

Since Pythiosis lesions are very aggressive and can overwhelm the dog’s system in a matter of months, it is imperative that treatment begin immediately. Unfortunately, most cases of Pythiosis are diagnosed too late and are usually fatal.

To successfully treat the disease, it MUST be caught as early as possible. The PAVLAB Immunotherapy has been the most effective treatment option available. It immediately strengthens the dog’s immune system much like an allergy shot would fight an allergen. The most effective treatment regimens have included a combination of early anti-fungals, low dose prednisone, and continuing immunotherapy.

Some cases require surgery to remove affected tissue if it is in an area that is resectable. Surgical removal is not always possible and does not always completely remove all infected tissues, so anti-fungals and/or immunotherapy are usually recommended with or without surgery.

Since Pythium Insidiosum is not a true fungus, anti-fungal drugs alone will NOT completely eliminate the infection. Anti-fungals are also very expensive and can eventually cause liver toxicity. The anti-fungals used most often are: Sporonox, Itraconazole, Terbinafine, Fluconazole, Amphotericin B, Ketoconazole. Here is a link to a study on Antifungal Drug Resistance.

Contact PavLab for information on the Pythium Immuno therapeutic treatment of Pythium, Lagenidium and ParaLagenidium at 512-964-3927


It is recommended that your vet prescribe a low dosage corticosteroid such as prednisone to reduce swelling and inflammation. This will immediately make your dog feel better and will help to help increase appetite which is another important aspect in treating this disease. Nutrition is a very important part of the treatment regimen in order to boost the immune system.

Click here for our HEALTHY DOG DIET recommendations.

Living and Management

Your veterinarian will schedule follow up visits to determine the effectiveness of treatment and manage care afterwards. Abdominal x-rays and ultrasounds can also be done to re-evaluate intestinal signs of disease.

Additional blood tests which include the ELISA tests for Pythiosis are recommended. A chemical blood profile should be done as well to monitor liver toxicity if the dog is on anti-fungals.

Surviving dogs are recommended to receive a yearly booster vaccine to continue in a successful recovery from Pythiosis.


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