MSD Manual

Please confirm that you are a health care professional

honeypot link

Leishmaniosis (Leishmaniasis) in Cats

By

Gad Baneth

, DVM, PhD, DECVCP, Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University, Rehovot

Last full review/revision Aug 2018 | Content last modified Aug 2018

Leishmaniosis (leishmaniasis) is a longterm, severe, protozoal (parasitic) disease of humans, dogs, and other animals. Dogs serve as the major source of the infection (the "reservoir host"), and cats are rarely infected. The single-celled parasite is transmitted through the bite of a sand fly that has previously bitten an infected animal or person. In people, it is mostly a disease of young children, especially those who are malnourished or have suppressed immune systems. The disease is potentially fatal in dogs and people. The disease is prevalent in Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and in the Mediterranean region. It occurs only occasionally in the United States.

In cats, the disease usually affects the skin but can also affect the internal organs. The most common skin lesions are areas of baldness with severe dry skin shedding, usually beginning on the head and extending to the rest of the body. Ulceration can also develop, particularly on the head and limbs. Ulcers on the ears can bleed considerably.

Laboratory tests are used to diagnose leishmaniosis. Drug treatment is available for dogs, but it usually does not eliminate the parasites. Treated dogs can remain carriers of the infection, allowing it to spread to others. Control of sand flies and topical insecticides are critical for dogs in areas where leishmaniasis is common. Because dogs can serve as a source of infection for people, preventing canine infections is important for human health in these areas.

Others also read
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Download the Manuals App iOS ANDROID
Test your knowledge
Disorders of Calcium Metabolism
Calcium, in its ionic form, plays a key role in the function of many body systems. Precise control of calcium ion concentrations in extracellular fluids is regulated by several hormones. Which of the following is NOT involved in calcium homeostasis?
Become a Pro at using our website 

Also of Interest

Become a Pro at using our website 
TOP