Leishmaniasis in dogs

Reynaldo Dietze rdietze at npd1.ufes.br
Wed Jun 26 00:03:36 BRT 1996

At 10:57 AM 25/6/96 -0300, you wrote:
>I stumbled across this list while searching the Internet for information on
>Leishmaniasis. I have a dog who was diagnosed one year ago with visceral
>Leishmania. The dog came from Italy. The diagnosis was made after isolating
>the organisms from a bone marrow aspirate as well as serology performed at
>the CDC in Atlanta. At the time the dog was in renal failure. I was working
>with a veterinarian from Michigan State University. We began treating the
>dog with Allopurinol. After several months the Leishmania titer decreased
>and no organisms could be found in the bone marrow. However, the titer has
>gradually risen and we are now considering a combination therapy of
>Allopurinol and an antimonial. I would appreciate it, if anyone could give
>me some information on this disease or its treatment in dogs. From my
>understanding, it is incurable in dogs, and if so, I question trying this
>combination therapy. If you could offer me or my univerisity veterinarian
>some literature or a contact that could give some advice or direction I
>would greatly appreciate it. I know this is "just a dog," but he is a very
>special member of my family and I will do whatever I can to either cure him
>or help him live with this disease. Thank you very much.
>Debra Quaka, DDS
       Dear Thomas,

                What Javier told you is true.  Less that 50% of dogs treated
will cure.  We did some experimental work treating dogs with antimonials
(N-metil glucatime antimoniate - Glucantime) but with fair results.  We
experienced more side effects with the dose of 10mg of Sb5/kg/day than we
observed in humans.  4 out 10 dogs treated presented sudden dead by day 12
of treatment probably because cardiac arrythmias.  In humans the drug is
eliminated more that 95% by the kidneys and any renal problem will increase

                There is no study using anfotericin B in dogs.  The drug is
much more potent than antimonials against leishmaniasis.  The inconvenient
will be the IV infusion over a period of 4 hours.  Using lipossomal
anfotericin B problably you will have less toxicity with a short treatment
time. I will suggest 2 weeks of treatment with a 2mg/kg/day of Amphocil.  To
prevent potential side effects such as chills and fever you may consider
pre-treating the dog with non-steroid antiinflamatory drug.

                Gook luck and let me know the follow-up of the treatment.
Reynaldo Dietze, M.D.
Núcleo de Doenças Infecciosas - UFES 
Av. Marechal Campos 1468, Maruipe
CEP: 29040-091
Vitória, ES - Brazil
Tel/Fax: 55-27-3357204

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