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

9Can be severe without treatment

While leishmaniasis can heal on its own without medication, it can last for several years and even cause scarring. Sores could also spread to other parts of the body especially the nose mouth and throat. If left untreated, it can have deadly implications but medication is available although no vaccine exists for the disease. It is best to avoid sand flies and use insect repellents or nets.

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The fortunate thing concerning dogs is that there is a vaccine for canines including collars impregnated with insecticides and effective treatments that prevent sand flies from biting.

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10Another case from Essex

After the Shih Tzu case, another was found near Essex where three year old pointer had developed the disease earlier in the year. The dog’s owners had lived in Spain so it’s most likely he could have contracted the disease. The dog was suffering from the disease between 2016-2017 and developed eczema and hair loss. Unlike the case of the Shih Tzu, this dog did not live with other dogs.

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11Mainly concerns pets travelling out of the country or rescue dogs from abroad

Daniella Dos Santos, junior vice president of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), said: ‘The increase in cases of non-endemic diseases such as leishmaniasis is extremely concerning,  ‘More than a quarter of vets surveyed by BVA last year mentioning [reported] seeing cases of this rare disease in practice. ‘Leishmaniasis is mainly associated with pets who have recently travelled outside of the UK or “trojan” rescue dogs from abroad with unknown health histories’.

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12Vets are advising to adopt from UK rescue homes

Ms. Santo advised adopting dogs from rehoming charities rather than import dogs or rescuing them from other countries because it could be severe implications for pets in the UK. Leishmaniasis transmitting sand flies have been found in Greece, Italy, Spain and southern France.  Paolo Silvestrini, a lecturer in small animal internal medicine at the University of Liverpool, said ‘Canine leishmaniasis is still not well known here in the UK, vets would not have seen these cases 15 years ago, but they are becoming more frequent now as it becomes easier for pets to travel across Europe and the UK.”

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http://rescuedogs.org.uk
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