Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease found throughout the world and Leishmania can affect dogs and humans alike. Was introduced to the North American continent quite recently and a lot of vets who are not familiar with this disease, so it is easy to miss. Leishmaniasis is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania and can only be spread by certain species of sand fly bite. This disease in two forms: skin and visceral Leishmania Leishmania. Both types can affect dogs. Visceral Leishmania far more serious than cutaneous Leishmania, because it means that the parasite has reached the dogs vital organs.
Symptoms of leishmaniasis in dogs
Leishmaniasis are developed slowly in the body of a dog and can take up to seven years from infection to the point when dog owners start to see symptoms of leishmaniasis in dogs. Symptoms are often vague and veterinarians can treat dogs for other more common diseases before realizing that the cause of the problem is leishmaniasis. There are also quite a lot of dogs that seem naturally resistant to parasites - they are infected but they never develop symptoms of leishmaniasis. In endemic areas, up to 90% of the dogs may have a genetic predisposition to not develop any symptoms.
Common symptoms of leishmaniasis in dogs are weakness, fatigue, exercise intolerance, and loss of appetite (often result in weight loss). In some dogs, the symptoms are accompanied by hepatosplenomegaly lymphadenopathy, local or general, and / or fever. Up to 90% of dogs suffer from symptoms of visceral leishmaniasis have both and skin lesions. Cutaneous leishmaniasis lesions are usually dry and the dog will lose hair. Head is usually the first place to show lesions, especially on the nose and pinna. Lesions derived from squirrels cavort also quite common. Finally, leishmaniasis lesions can spread throughout the dog's body.
Articular involvement is not uncommon when it comes to leishmaniasis in dogs, and can cause joint swelling and stiff gait. Other symptoms of leishmaniasis in dogs is chronic diarrhea, deformed and brittle nails, and ocular lesions.
Leishmaniasis treatment for dogs
Unfortunately, leishmaniasis in dogs is difficult to cure. Experts still do not know why, but visceral leishmaniasis much harder to treat in dogs than humans. In many dogs, symptoms appear back as soon as treatment is stopped.
In areas where leishmaniasis is endemic, the most commonly used treatment for dog leishmaniasis is pentavalent combination of allopurinol and Antimonial, such as sodium stibogluconate or meglumine antimonite. If you live in the United States, Pentostam ® (sodium stibogluconate) is currently only available Antimonial drugs. Unfortunately, many of today parasite resistance to the compound above. There is also problematic side effects.
Other treatments may be is Amfoterisin B because these drugs bind sterols and disrupt cell membrane permeability dog. This medicine is unfortunately nefrotoksik, and treatment can not be said to be very effective.
Given parenteral Paramomycin will act synergistically with antimonials (eg meglumine antimonite or sodium stibogluconate), thereby creating a higher level of antimonials in dog body for long periods of time, but also nefrotoksik.
Pentamidin isetionat has proven effective against leishmaniasis in dogs, but you should bring your dog to the vet for a minimum of 15 intramuscular injections. This injection was undoubtedly painful for the dog.
Several types of oral medications are efficient when it comes to just contain the disease, but the costs of long term care can be difficult for many dog owners. Examples of drugs is Itrakonazol, Flukonazol, miconazole, and Ketaconazole. The other problem with the routine use of the drug is prolonged risk of drug resistance.