A dog has died from the parasitic disease leishmaniasis in what is thought to be the first ever reported case in the UK.

The three-year-old Shih Tzu, who lived in Hertfordshire, became increasingly ill with vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss over three weeks.

Having never left the British isles, vets suspect the pooch caught the Leishmania infantum parasite from another dog it lived with.

This dog had come over from Spain and was put down six months earlier after developing severe leishmaniasis.

Although dogs cannot transmit leishmaniasis directly to humans, sand flies can act as a reservoir for the infection by biting the popular pets and then passing the infection onto people.

Sand flies are not found in the UK, however, humans infected in tropical regions can endure oozing sores, fever, and even deadly swelling of the liver and spleen.

The dog was examined by a team at the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, UK, led by Myles McKenna, from the department of clinical science and services.

‘To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of leishmaniosis in the UK in a dog without a history of travel to an endemic area,’ they wrote in the BMJ journal Vet Record.

Original Source

 

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