Story by WTTV's Angela Brauer
PITTSBORO, Ind. – An 11-year old Indiana boy is working desperately to save his dog’s life.
Lucas Fuller posted flyers around his neighborhood, advertising “help for hire.” He said someone saw the signs, posted them to Facebook, and it took like wildfire.
“It was a lot more of a response than I thought it would be,” he said.
Fuller’s dog, Bear, got sick recently. The family says they started noticing scabs on his skin, pus coming from his eyes and incessant coughing.
“It kind of sounded like kennel cough,” Fuller said.
The vet diagnosed Bear with blastomychosis, a fungal infection inhaled through soil pathogens. Veterinarians say the risk of picking the bacteria up is everywhere. It first attacks a dog’s lungs and airway, then spreads. It can be fatal, if not treated right away.
“When we found out it was going to cost a lot, we starting panicking because that was money we did not have,” the Fullers said.
People stepped up to help right away. Karen Fuller, Lucas’ mom, set up a GoFundMe account and people started donating to pay for Bear’s mounting medical bills. Someone paid for the dog’s recurring medication in advance, anonymously.
“I really love this dog and I didn’t want him to die,” Fuller said.
The GoFundMe page quickly surpassed the family’s $2,000 goal.
Bear is doing better but still has at least four months of treatment to go.
Signs and symptoms of blastomycosis include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, muscle aches and fatigue. Veterinarians say the only way to prevent it is to stay away from infected soils. There is no vaccine.