ABSTRACT

Pythium insidiosum is an oomycete that encysts in the skin or gastrointestinal tract, leading to pythiosis. Pythiosis is reported in tropical and subtropical climates, affecting dogs and rarely cats. Surgical resection is the treatment of choice; however, cases present late in the disease and lesions are often nonresectable. Medical management is typically unsuccessful, with uncommon exceptions; however, mefenoxam, an agricultural fungicide, has in vitro efficacy against P insidiosum. We describe the use of mefenoxam, itraconazole, and terbinafine (MIT) in five dogs with gastrointestinal pythiosis and one dog with cutaneous pythiosis. Two of the gastrointestinal cases had disease extending to surgical margins and received MIT: resolution of clinical signs and seronegativity occurred after 189–193 days. Another case underwent surgical resection and MIT. The dog improved but subsequently developed a rectal mass, which responded to addition of prednisone and immunotherapy. Two cases were treated with MIT alone, and response varied. Efficacy of MIT in cutaneous pythiosis could not be determined. MIT may result in improved survival and seronegativity in dogs with incompletely resected gastrointestinal pythiosis. Mefenoxam is EPA registered, and extralabel use under the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act does not apply. Additional research is recommended before use.

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