Leishmaniasis is a disease of the skin and intestines caused by protozoa. The distribution area are the tropics and the Mediterranean area.
The disease is transmitted by the sand mosquito of the genus Phlebotomus by sucking blood. As soon as the parasites get into the bloodstream, they attack special defense cells, the large scavenger cells (macrophages), and multiply in them explosively. Finally the macrophages burst and release the “newborn” leishmanias, which now attack the next phagocytes.
The animals become ill about 1 to 18 months after a stay abroad, so that a causal connection is often no longer established. The dog becomes increasingly emaciated, with the skin becoming flaky and cracked. The hair becomes dull and falls out more and more. The pathogens also affect the lymph nodes and internal organs, especially the spleen and kidneys. Other symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nosebleeds, eye infections and lameness.
Therapy is tedious and can be very expensive. A complete cure is not possible, because usually the pathogens are only pushed back, but not completely destroyed. A consistently carried out therapy can enable the dogs to live with little or no symptoms for months or years, with relapses always being expected.
Despite intensive research, no practical vaccination against leishmaniasis has yet been developed. Therefore, dogs must be protected from the sand flies that transmit them. This happens through mosquito repellent, pyrethroidal-containing ectoparasitic drugs. These preparations are available as collars and SpotOn preparations. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a suitable preparation.
Infectious Tracheobronchitis Leishmaniasis Leptospirosis Pseudowrage Stunging Rabies