- The ‘Phlebotomus’ - potential danger for your dog
The ‘Phlebotomus’ - potential danger for your dog
NEW ON THE MARKET, (2012) THERE IS NOW A VACCINE TO PROTECT YOUR DOG FROM LEISHMANIASIS. A COURSE OF THREE INJECTIONS, THE VACCINE BECOMES EFFECTIVE FOUR WEEKS AFTER THE FINAL ONE,
Phlebotomus actually comes from the Greek phleps, phlebos meaning ‘vein’ referring to the blood sucking habit of sand flies
The ‘Phlebotomus’ or ‘sandfly’ is a small, hairy species of mosquito, straw coloured or brown, whose buzz is hardly noticeable but whose ‘bite’ can be fatal to dogs. This unpleasant little beastie can carry and transmit leishmaniasis, (pronounced leash man eye a sis), a disease first recorded in the Pyrénées-Orientales in 1920 and which as yet has no vaccination.
There is however preventative medication available and it is important to to protect your dog against this from March to October in the P-O.
These villains are rarely seen during the day. Their favourite habitat is gardens, parks and woodland or any humid place. In fact, the name ‘sand fly’ is misleading as you will not find them on the beach!
As with the common mosquito, only the female bites. When she does so, parasites are deposited on the skin. A tiny skin lesion - called a chancre - appears at the site of the bite, usually in the muzzle or the ear. The parasite then invades the dog’s cells, spreads into the internal organs and can begin to damage the immune system.
Any dog can catch Leishmaniasis, although there is some evidence to indicate that larger dogs are more susceptible.
Protect your dog...
Eventual symptoms may include loss of hair around the eyes and nose, unusually fast nail growth, weight loss despite, continued good appetite, unexplained scabs on the body, dandruff, bald patches on the skin, conjunctivitis...
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