During the month of February 2018, we will be making a concerted effort to educate all of our dog-owning clients a little more about Leishmania, the island´s endemic mosquito-borne disease.
Over the summer, most owners are aware that they must take precautions to try to prevent their dogs from being infected but there is NO prevention that is guaranteed 100% effective. Our recommendation at CalviaVet is to combine veterinary-certified mosquito repellant products with one of the two currently available methods of boosting the pet´s immune response to the parasite. Usually this combination gives effective protection of up to 96%. If you are not already applying a complete Leishmania prevention regimen, Juan and Anna will be happy to discuss this with you and recommend a specific program that suits your particular dog and lifestyle.
Despite these new advances in prevention, a large number of dogs on the island still do not receive adequate protection and if they have been bitten by an infected fly a few months ago during warmer months, it is NOW, once the disease process is underway, that we start to pick up our first new cases from last year. (If you want to know more about causes and symptoms, scroll through our news blog to our entry on Feb 2014 all about Leish!)
The current best recommendation from Leishmania experts is to test all dogs in the endemic regions every 6-12 months for Leishmania antibodies in their blood. This includes all apparently healthy, symptom-free dogs, allowing early detection of infection. A dog with a low-positive antibody titre but no symptoms, may still be helped to fight off the disease and eliminate the parasite if given immune-boosting medication to help his or her immune system respond correctly.
Once symptoms have developed and the disease process gets properly underway, the dog will need intensive treatment with an expensive anti-parasitic medication and will almost certainly remain infected for life which means relapses will occur and need repeated treatment throughout their life.
We will be offering a discounted price on a full health examination and Leishmania antibody test plus vaccination of negative dogs in February and urge owners to take advantage of the offer. Even well-protected and vaccinated dogs should be tested too.
The message we want to get across is that borderline infections CAN be stopped in the early phases!
Call 971695108 to make an appointment