The Clinic Eurovet advised you that Leishmaniasis is a serious disease in dogs. It is caused by a blood parasite that is transmitted by the bite of a female mosquito of the genus Phlebotomus. This mosquito lives in the Mediterranean area. The most critical periods are the months from March to October, and among them at the end of afternoon and early in the morning are the maximum exposure. The highest risk group is the group of dogs living outdoors and sleeping outside.
We diagnose the disease in 2 ways:
- Direct parasite identification through a bone marrow aspiration in our operating room.
- Indirect determination of antibodies in blood, through Elisa Test or immunofluorescence.
Both techniques should be accompanied by a blood test in which a biochemical profile performed to assess hepatic and renal function (See our laboratory), first organs to fail during this disease.
Main symptoms of the disease:
- Weight loss, apathy…
- Skin lesions: lack of skin on face and extremities, ulcers, dandruff…
- Bulky lymph nodes
Although apparently healthy dogs may also suffer disease (incubation period), it’s at this time that they have better response to treatment.
So Eurovet Clinic recommended in endemic areas of disease, to perform analytical tests 1 or 2 times a year, and of course the practice of preventive medicine through the application of external parasite suppressor (Scalibor and Advantix) and trying to avoid as possible exposure for your pet to the mosquito bite by not walking the dog in the most critical hours.
This year has also gone on the market a vaccine against leishmaniasis (The CANILEISH) that allows the dog to be protected from the “inside” and that is a very good tool as a preventive measure across to the disease.