GREAT NEWS!!! After years of waiting and seeing how our dogs have suffered the effects of this fatal disease, we can now finally celebrate the release of a vaccine that combats canine Leishmaniosis.


This vaccine is named CaniLeish, made by Virbac, and is the first available in Europe, to give dogs better protection against this terrible disease.


The vaccine will help protect our dogs in a different way to what is currently on the market (which are aimed at avoiding the bite of the insect), as it actually encourages your dog's body to make antibodies against the proteins released by the Leishmania Infantum parasite during its growth. If your dog is later exposed to the Leishmania Infantum parasite their immune system will respond quicker, helping to reduce the risk of developing infection and protecting them against the disease.


The vaccine is for dogs 6 months and over. The initial course consists of three injections with a three-week interval and thereafter a single yearly booster is required to keep them covered. It is first advisable to carry out a blood test to make sure they are free from Leishmaniosis, as the vaccine can only be used for dogs who do not have the disease. Your dog will be covered by the vaccine four weeks after the initial vaccination course.


As there is a high the incidence of Leishmania Infantum throughout the Mediterranean, with an estimated two and a half million affected animals, we still also recommend the same protective measures as before, to avoid the bite of the sand fly vector. i.e. with the Scalibor collar, Advantix spot on drops etc.


Please visit our clinic for more information on protecting your pet against Leishmaniosis and to take advantage of our introductory offer. 

Diagnosis and prevention of Canine Leishmaniosis

Canine Leishmaniosis is an emerging parasitic disease, transmitted by mosquitoes, which can jeopardise the life of your dog and it can sometimes go unnoticed for lack of specific symptoms, or because they are similar to those of other diseases common in clinical practice. That is why prevention and early detection is fundamental in treating this parasitic disease.


The mosquito of the genus Phlebotomus, also known as Beatilla or Sand Fly is the principal spreader of this parasitic disease. When the Sand Fly bites your dog, to feed on its blood, it also injects the parasite into your dogs blood. Once the parasite is within the body, it begins to multiply, usually in tissue to which it has a higher affinity. Lymph nodes, bone marrow, etc .


There are generally two forms of the disease, the cutaneous, which attacks the skin (the most common in our area) or visceral, which attacks the main organs (less common but often fatal).


The most typical symptoms of the Cutaneous form are the following:


• Hair loss especially around the eyes, ears and nose.

• Injuries that do not close on head, legs or areas of friction with the ground.

• Loss of weight, appetite is usually normal.

• Overgrown nails.

• Nosebleeds.

• Inflammation of the joints, lameness, etc.


If the disease progresses, it can lead to an internal problem and become Visceral, causing a typical pattern of renal or hepatic failure (vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, anorexia etc) which progresses to the death of the dog.


Unfortunately, there isn’t even a vaccine to prevent this serious disease, hence the great importance of conducting periodic checks on your dogs, especially those living in high-risk areas such as Andalusia.


In Mediterranean areas the mosquito is active during the warmer months, usually until September and October, but unfortunately in Malaga and its province due to the weather, the mosquito is active throughout the year, necessitating all year prevention.


What can I do to know if my dog has Leishmaniosis?


We highly recommend a blood test, which will detect the parasite and analyse the antibodies produced by your dogs body, whether your pet has symptoms or not. It's fast, safe and painless, the results are obtained within 24 hours.


If the test results are negative, how can I prevent the disease?


From a medical point of view there are several products based on insecticides which prevent the mosquito biting your pet.
These come in different forms, collars or pipettes.


At our clinic we recommend the use of a collar throughout the year. This collar is named Scalibor (by Intervet) and is a deltamethrin, which performs a slow release of insecticide through the lipid layer of the skin, creating a barrier against the mosquito bite. This protection lasts for 6 months and it doesn’t matter if your dog's collar comes into contact with water. Therefore with 2 Scalibor collars a year you will have great protection against the mosquito which spreads the disease.


Of course other measures, aimed at killing the mosquito will help, such as the use of insecticides at home.
Do not allow water to stagnate in the garden or around the house.
Most importantly make sure that your dogs sleep inside the house, especially during the hot summer months.


If the blood test unfortunately confirms the disease, what I can do?


The first thing we must establish is the type of Leishmaniosis your dog has.
Firstly are the symptoms confined to the skin without visceral involvement, or are the kidneys or infected. The type of Leishmaniasis your dog has will determine the treatment necessary.


There are several alternative treatments.
Daily injections of Glucantime over a fixed period of time or an oral solution called Milteforán administered for 28 days.
The oral solution is what we use at the clinic, because it is less aggressive to your dog. However, neither treatment will cure the disease, as the disease will remain in your dog forever.  But with regular check-ups and a healthy diet this disease can be controlled and your dog will have a perfectly normal life.


If you have any questions regarding this disease or perhaps would like to know what we can offer you to prevent it, or simply take advantage of some of our special offers this month, please contact us.