Leihmaniosis in dogs


Comes the good weather and rising temperatures, two factors bring with them, among other things, the increase in the incidence of a disease with high impact health in our pets, that it is a Zoonoses It can be transmitted to man. We are talking of the Leihmaniosis.

The Leihmaniosis is very present in the South of Europe, especially in the Mediterranean basin, a highly endemic area, There are also many casuistry in South America. In all it is estimated that you there are around 2,5 millions of dogs infected in the endemic area of Europe, Although there are also cases of dogs infected in areas not frequent, that they have been able to be infected in trips to such areas.

The P. Perniciosus, or also called Mosquito de las Arenas, It is the mosquito of the genus Phlebotomus causative of the transmission of the Leihmaniosis, a disease with high-impact in Extremadura, that in our autonomous community are the best conditions for the life cycle of this parasite, that is a Protozoan of the genus Leishmania.



As in all parasites is very important the work played by vectors in the evolution of the parasite. In this case, the mosquito (the leishmania) He uses it to evolve a stadium to another inside the insect and getting to parasitize to new hosts may be at a considerable distance.

The cycle begins with the female sandfly bites for blood, because the male is vegetarian. In this way the mosquito is infected by the parasite inside of this, and the leishmania continues its development and undergoes a major transformation: It evolves in a manner called amastigote to another known as promastigote, Thus managing parasites about Cilia conferred mobility.

The next step is when the mosquito bites another mammal of new, inoculando on the skin of the host the infective forms of leishmania (Promastigote). The defenses of the host, more specifically macrophages, they engulf and try to eliminate the organism leishmania, but the parasite has specific mechanisms to prevent the defence of the host. This, they evolve to an evolutionary form called Amastigote and multiply within macrophages. When they are sufficiently full of parasites they reventarán and parasitarán other macrophages.


Dogs exposed to the parasite can develop the disease, because this depends on several factors, among them the race of the can. There are certain breeds more susceptible than others to develop the disease. The Ibizan Hound is highly resistant to disease.

Age is also a factor to take into account, Since young animals and the senior (more than seven years) they are more likely to develop clinical signs. And equally important is the immune response of the dog, because most do not develop clinical disease.

Taking into account these factors may be that the can is infected by presenting clinical signs; the animal to remove the parasite full or that infected dogs do not develop the disease, Although any immune problems can do to develop the disease.


Leishmaniasis in a disease that can affect various organs, presenting a wide variety of clinical manifestations or symptoms. In general we can classify the disease in dermal and Visceral leishmaniasis.

The most obvious symptoms dermal leishmaniasis are dermatitis with visible peeling; alopecia around the eyes, ears and legs; ulcers and scabs; and Onicogriposis (nail growth).

And the signs of systemic or visceral leishmaniasis are widespread Linfoadenomegalia (increase in lymph nodes); thinning; anemia; increase in organs such as the liver and spleen; eye conditions; subsequent claudication; bleeding from nose, aparato digestivo, etc; and analytical alterations.

In the event that our mascot present some of these symptoms or have suspicions that may be infested, It is essential to visit the veterinarian of confidence, who will be in charge of the diagnosis of the disease and possible treatment, because it is important to know that there is treatment with the result of the improvement of symptoms, but there is no complete cure.



There are several formulas for the control of the Leshmaniosis for several years, especially mechanisms to prevent the bite of the mosquito in our animals.

In clinical veterinary science you will find necklaces and pipettes that prevent the bite. We must take into account that they are not one hundred percent effective and if our animal is found in endemic areas we should avoid to walk our pets in the sandfly busiest hours, namely, Dawn and dusk.

At last, It should be noted that for a few months your veterinarian has another tool to prevent the development of this dangerous disease. It's a vaccine that is giving good results in Europe and that since the beginning of this year being marketed in Spain.

Source: digitalextremadura.com – Rubén butter


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