Eight things to know about leishmaniasis

How do I find out if my dog ​​is infected? What are the symptoms? How do I know if a dog is sick? And again: can people get sick? Can it be cured? What is the expectation of a sick dog? With the arrival of spring, especially between March and April, dog owners run for shelter. Protect your four-legged friends from leishmaniasis. There Leishmania childrenThe agent of leishmaniasis in Europe and the Mediterranean region, it is a parasite Sand fliesSandflies are also called: The main vector of these small, seasonal mosquito-like insects. Protozoan. They can bite dogs and cats but also other mammals, including humans, thus transmitting protozoans that continue their evolutionary and reproductive cycle with the proliferation and release of amastigotes in vertebrates.

But what is a sand fly? The sand fly is a vampire insect (meaning it eats blood like a mosquito) that likes it Eat crepuscular and nocturnal hours, As well as hot months (early May to early November), humidity and ventilated areas. They are therefore mainly present Rural, waterlogged environment And Coastal Since, for development and growth, larvae need temperature, adequate humidity and shelter such as deep cracks in soil or old walls or buildings. Those present in Italy and responsible for the transmission L. Children They are excreted and esophagus, they do not enter and do not sting inside the house. However, climate change is spreading the spread of even sandflies in the former non-native areas of northern Italy.

In short, it is a very delicate issue, affecting many owners each year, with up to seroprevalence rates. 53.1% Across our peninsula and especially in some parts of the country (Liguria, mid-south coastal regions, especially the Tyrrhenian side, islands). Such as Argentario Promontory and Elba Island About 40% of dogs are HIV positiveAll possibilities known as the first case of sand fly population especially due to the presence Phlebotomus perniciosisMore efficient in protozoan infections than this Phlebotomas perfiliui.

So every year during this time many questions arise. For this, MileageVeterinary Analysis Laboratory that in 2018, and for the next three years, Financial times Included in the ranking of 1000 fastest growing companies in Europe, with its support Luigi VenkoSmall veterinary clinic specialist veterinary surgeon, line up Frequently Asked Questions AboutAnd the most correct answer.

How do I know if a dog is infected? What are the symptoms? How do I know if a dog is sick?

Diagnosis of leishmaniasis is a complete laboratory diagnosis that should be made by an indirect examination by a veterinarian (Antibody titration) And direct (aimed at highlighting the presence of parasites), often in an organized manner. The infection lasts for several months before the onset of symptoms It is therefore advisable to carry it in risky areas Annual screening, Even considering that any kind of test cannot confirm that a dog is not infected. Symptoms may be present on the skin (hair fall, especially on the scalp, scalp) or systems such as epistaxis, eye disease, increased thirst and decreased appetite.

Can people get sick if their dog is caught with leishmaniasis?

People can be infected with Leishmania infantum but The infection is not direct but causes sting of sand flies (sand fly) Having a dog with leishmaniasis – if treated with drugs that prevent sand fly bites (with veterinarian’s advice)Pyrethroid) And it causes them to die after being stabbed (Isoxazoline) – This is not a risk factor for the family.

It is known that this is a disease for which you need to be treated for life. But are there any proven cases where dogs are cured?

Recovery is impossible though Theoretically possible. However, since there are no tests that can confirm cure or parasitological negativity, confirmation is still impossible.

What is the lifespan of a dog with leishmaniasis? It depends on its immune status (Th1 cell-mediated component) and any therapy. Maybe Absolutely normal as well as a few months.

Can a dog with leishmaniasis die?

Having a systemic disease Complications can be many. The most targeted organs are usually Kidney. Excessive antibody production in most cases leads to chronic renal failure.

If I have other dogs (or cats, or animals in general) in my home, are they at risk?

Yes why Join the same environment Sandflies are equally exposed unless they are housed exclusively at home or otherwise They do not go out at all from evening till dawn.

Which areas of Italy are most at risk? Are there any zero-risk zones? And what about the situation outside of Italy?

The Central-southern ItalyThe Coastal area And Apennine Mountains Most have local areas, but to this day we can say that No area of ​​Italy can be considered as zero risk.

Europe All countries in the Mediterranean basin, From Spain to Greece, is considered highly endemic. The disease can occur in Central and Northern Europe, however Including different transmission modes (Venereal, maternal-fetal blood circulation) Lack of parasite vectors.

Are children at greater risk?

In most cases of people with Leishmania infantum, the lesions are confined to the skin and are localized and respond well to therapy. In immunosuppressed subjects (HIV infection, chemotherapy, immunosuppressive therapy), however, systemic forms are not excluded regardless of age.

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