Green August: month to combat leishmaniasis lights up alert for recent cases of the disease


It didn’t even take August for the leishmaniasis issue to become even more evident among the population. This is because cases of the disease have been increasingly frequent even before Agosto Verde, a month dedicated to warning about care to prevent and combat the disease. Several states such as Mato Grosso do Sul, Ceará, Piauí, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo have already registered cases.

“Leishmaniasis is a disease that concerns us throughout the year, but it is important to emphasize that climatic factors such as temperature and humidity can cause the number of cases to increase in certain periods, affecting not only dogs, but also humans. Therefore, it is very important that the entire population invests in prevention and avoid transmission”, warns Kathia Almeida Soares, veterinarian and pet technical coordinator at MSD Saúde Animal.

Leish what?

Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania,transmitted mainly through the bite of asandflies, which are small mosquitoes twilight and nocturnal and that can to affectpeople and pets, such as dogs. There are two types, the visceral, which affects the internal organs, and the cutaneous, which affects the mucous membranes and skin.

“The most common in dogs is visceral. The transmission of the disease happens mainly when sandflies feed on blood. When this insect bites the infected animal, it becomes infected and transfers the protozoan by biting the human. This means that the dog is the main reservoir of the protozoan, but it is important to remember that it does not transmit the disease directly to people”, explains Kathia.

The main clinical manifestations and diagnosis

According to the veterinarian, in visceral leishmaniasis the main clinical manifestations are blood loss through the stool and nose , fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, skin changes, dehydration, among others. already theleishmaniasis integumentary, also known as cutaneous, manifests itself through lesions on the animal’s skin.

“The diagnosis, many times, should not be based on a single exam andit is important to reinforce thatthe veterinarian is the only professional qualified to do it assertively”, says the specialist. “A periodic visit to the veterinary clinic is essential, as many dogs can be infected by the protozoan and the owner does not realize it”, she adds.

Prevention is key

As with many diseases, the best way to avoid leishmaniasis is prevention, which must be carried out by a set of measures, such as the use of topical products with repellent action, such as the antiparasitic collar for dogs based on deltamethrin, and the vaccination.

In addition, the veterinarian reinforces the importance of cleaning the house, which must be free of organic matter, as this is where the transmitting mosquito proliferates, and even some additional care, such as using protective screens, especially in the place where the pet is most stay; avoid walking the dog at dusk and at night, when the transmitting mosquito is more active, and always follow the instructions of the veterinarian, who is the professional who will provide all the information and care that the tutor needs to preserve the dog’s health. and the family.

No panic! The disease is treatable

If your pet is diagnosed with leishmaniasis, don’t panic! Although there is no cure, the disease has treatment based on drugs that alleviate the clinical manifestations and reduce the chances of transmission of the parasite to other animals and humans. The veterinarian can indicate the best products for your animal to be happy and have quality of life.

Although there is treatment, Kathia emphasizes that the best thing is to prevent, because the treatment requires a high financial investment and does not bring a parasitic cure, it only improves the manifestations and reduces the transmission load. So, stay tuned for preventive measures and protect your puppy, thus ensuring health and well-being for him and the whole family.

To find out more, visit the MSD Animal Health.

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