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Canine Leishmaniosis

What you need to know

Leishmaniosis is a serious parasitic disease that can be fatal. The province of Essaouira is strongly impacted.

 

Leishmaniosis is a disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted by the bites of female sandflies. Over 23 species of Leishmania have been described, most of which are zoonotic (transmitted to humans). The most important Leishmania parasite to affect dogs is L infantum.

 

Dogs are the primary reservoir host for human visceral Leishmaniosis caused by L infantum, and the disease is potentially fatal in dogs and humans. The symptoms of Leishmaniosis do not necessarily appear immediately after the dog is infected but on the contrary, sometimes months or even years later. 

 

Unfortunately, canine Leishmaniosis can be treated, but not cured. A dog suffering with Leishmaniosis must be regularly monitored by a veterinarian throughout his life. Appropriate treatment can only slow the progression of the disease, but not provide a cure.

Several signs can help you detect if your dog has unfortunately been infected with the disease: 

SKIN SIGNS - severe hair loss, especially around the eyes, skin irritation and inflammation. 

EYE SIGNS - the eyes may be affected by conjunctivitis, which results in red eyes and discharge.

PHYSICAL SIGNS - overall general fatigue and weight loss, even if  the dog's appetite remains intact.

 

Other symptoms can be observed such as nose bleeds and claws which grow abnormally quickly. 

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