What is dog leishmaniasis?

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Leishmaniasis is caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania infantum, which is transmitted by sand flies of the Phlebotomus species.

Dogs are the major reservoir for this infection.

This infection causes disease in humans, particularly immunosuppressed adults and children.


Canine leishmaniasis (LEESH-ma-NIGH-ah-sis) is a zoonotic disease (see human leishmaniasis) caused by Leishmania parasites transmitted by the bite of an infected phlebotomine sandfly.


"The prognosis for a pet diagnosed with leishmaniasis is very guarded to grave." The prognosis for a pet diagnosed with leishmaniasis is very guarded to grave.

Most dogs die from kidney failure.

Severely ill pets may not be able to undergo treatment.


Most of these treatments do not achieve complete cure of the disease and some of them can cause important side effects [5, 10].

We hypothesized that marbofloxacin may be a safe and effective drug for treatment of dogs with leishmaniasis and renal disease.


Other signs and symptoms associated with leishmaniasis include:

  • Lymphadenopathy β€” disease of the lymph nodes with skin lesions in 90 percent of cases.
  • Emaciation.
  • Signs of renal failure β€” excessive urination, excessive thirst, vomiting possible.
  • Neuralgia β€” painful disorder of the nerves.
  • Pain in the joints.

We found that RFH therapy induced complete clinical cure and lesion healing within 45 days and both dogs have remained disease free for the last 16 months.

In many Leishmania-endemic regions of the world, infected dogs serve as a significant reservoir for zoonotic transmission of VL and CL to humans.


The parasite is transmitted by a small biting sand fly and is an important disease because humans can also contract Leishmaniasis.

You cannot become infected with Leishmaniasis from your dog or cat.

Leishmaniasis is common in the Mediterranean, South and Central America, and southern Mexico.


Most dogs that are infected may never develop the disease or clinical signs, but the most common clinical sign is skin lesions1.

They also remain infectious to sand flies2.

Is Leishmaniasis contagious from dogs to humans? Humans can be infected by the causative bacteria via the same sand flies.

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