First UK Pet Succumbs To Tropical Disease and Vets Are Advising Measures as It Could Infect Humans

5What the doctors found

On examining the Shih Tzu, doctors found that he was lacking in all three types of red blood cells that transport oxygen in the body as well as white blood cells for immunity and platelets that help in clotting. The dog’s calcium blood level had also increased and there was an abnormal level of protein globulin that indicated liver disease. When the bone marrow and skin biopsy was done, it was found that the dog had died from L Infantum also known as leishmaniasis.

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6What is leishmaniasis?

Leishmaniasis is a parasitic infection which mostly occurs in tropical and subtropical regions and southern Europe. The disease is contracted from the leishmaniasis parasite that is carried by 30 different species of sand flies. Common forms of leishmaniasis are cutaneous leishmaniasis that causes skin sores.

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7How it can affect the human body

Visceral leishmaniasis affects the liver, spleen and bone marrow. Cutaneous symptoms first appear as bumps and then form into ulcer looking sores which can also be painless. The visceral form of the disease causes fever, weight loss and low blood cell count. It also causes and enlargement of the spleen and liver. There are a number of people who may contract the silent form of the disease and do not even develop any symptoms.

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8Found in tropical regions

Leishmaniasis infections are primarily found in parts of Asia, Middle East, Africa, southern Europe, Mexico, Central America and South America. The human cases found in the UK are due to those who may have visited tropical countries and contracted the disease.

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