Leishmania a killer disease

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What is it?

Leishmania is a contagious disease caused by a parasite Leishmania Infantum. The disease if not treated properly, in many cases causes a painful and slow death and it´s treatment is always expensive. Once a dog is affected with this disease it will always, in lesser or a more intense way, need symptomatic treatment. Do remember clinical signs can be treated but the disease will never be cured! So the most important course of action for any pet is prevention as of the first day you get one.

How is it transmitted?

It is transmitted by the sandfly from April to approx September (when at night the temperature is above 20 degrees). The sandfly is active from dusk till dawn. The sandfly measures only 3-5mm. .

What are the clinical signs?

· Cutaneous; abnormal thickness of the skin, ulcers. Cuts and broses around the nasal area. Dermatitis or skin infections

· Visceral; loss of weight in the face, more peeing and drinking (Renal failure), muscle wasting, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, sneezing, black poo, fever, dermatitis(skin abnormalities), icterus (yellow mucosae)

· Claw abnormalities

· Progressive weight loss

· Anemia

· Arthritis

· Lethargy

Prevention

– If possible don’t leave the dog outdoors when it’s dark

– Get a Scalibor® collar, it is very effective all season

– Use Ex-spot™ every month (Not needed when using Scalibor®)

Control

Even if your pet does not show any signs a periodic control is very important. Blood testing should be done twice a year to be informed about any infection at an early stage.