Vaccine against leishmaniasis: he arrived in 2011 to change his approach towards a pathology, the leishmaniasis, in fact, which affects dogs all over the world, except in Australia, and rages especially in areas near the sea or in tropical areas. A step back before talking about the vaccine: remember that the leishmaniasis animal is a disease caused by parasites belonging to protozoa.
In Europe it is the sting of the commonly called pappatacio (Phlebotomus papatasi) to convey the leishmaniasis: it is an insect very similar to the mosquito that strikes mainly from May to October, preferably from sunset to dawn. Precisely in this period, therefore, there is a greater danger of leishmaniasis and a consequent need for vaccine.
In the 20 years that scientists have worked on the leishmaniasis vaccine, the only form of effective protection to prevent our dogs was to prevent physical contact with sand flies by "locking them up" from sunrise to sunset and using sprays, spot-ons, repellent collars and various insecticides. With the arrival of the vaccine strategy is changed and leishmaniasis is fought from within. From inside the dog, precisely, because the vaccine strengthens the immune system, strengthening it and thus reducing the risk of contracting leishmaniasis.
The distributors of the leishmaniasis vaccine speak of a 92.7% protection rate, controversy is still being heard about this result and it remains advisable not to intend the vaccine as a cure-all or a magical amulet. Better against the leishmaniasis use at the same time the other remedies "of the past". L'pesticide usual, from the pre vaccine.
Leishmaniasis: the vaccine and the protocol
The protocol of the leishmaniasis vaccine provides for its administration in three subcutaneous injections, 3 weeks apart, followed by an annual booster of the vaccine. All dogs over six months of age that test negative on the serological test can do the leishmaniasis vaccine, with the exception of pregnant or lactating females and with the foresight that the dog must be "healthy", that is, it does not take any drugs and does not present any pathology.
The incubation period of the leishmaniasis it is very long and often the symptoms of the disease are not immediately evident. Before vaccine, to understand if the dog has already contracted the leishmaniasis, a simple test is enough, the vet runs it quietly and it is a small blood sample to know in just 15 minutes if the dog is healthy.
Leishmaniasis: the vaccine, the study and the reactions
Who distributes the leishmaniasis vaccine informs about the studies done that "the probability that a dog exhibits symptoms is 4 times lower than an untreated one". It must therefore be understood, dear owners of endangered dogs leishmaniasis, that the vaccine does not statistically significantly protect and that our dogs will test this vaccine against leishmaniasis.
Having been several years since the arrival of the vaccine in Europe, and being still active, it is assumed that bad results are not giving them. The beneficial effect of vaccine was examined in areas with a high risk of infection, where a decrease in the risk of developing a symptomatic leishmaniasis.
Even if not bomb-proof, pappatacio, it remains a valid practice, the vaccine, if the dog remains for a long time in a hyperendemic area for the leishmaniasis or if he sleeps outside and is therefore very exposed to contact with the vector of leishmaniasis.In an overview like ours, where the leishmaniasis vaccine it should be understood as an aid and an opportunity to be able to lower the chances of making our dog sick, the systemic and local adverse reactions to the vaccine itself must also be considered.
Systemic reactions to the leishmaniasis vaccine they are apathy, inappetence, diarrhea and vomiting and, with lower percentages, hyperthermia. As for the local reactions to the vaccine, there is a small swelling, less than 5 cm in diameter, in 16-22% of cases but in a couple of days everything passes. A swelling greater occurs only in 3% of cases while the pain at the point where we got the vaccine is more frequent but lasts a maximum of 2 weeks. Other reactions that may occur after doing the leishmaniasis vaccine they are convulsions, tremors, drool in the mouth, eyes back.
Leishmaniasis: the vaccine as a complement
The leishmaniasis vaccine can for us represent a non-alternative but complementary way, for which we recall the methods already available, therapeutic and prophylactic, for the fight against leishmaniasis and its evil sand flies. Among good actions, good practices and more or less domestic measures, in addition to the vaccine, against leishmaniasis it is recommended to let the dog sleep at home, to use mosquito nets, repellents and specific pesticides, to avoid taking the dog to endemic areas. Even if the leishmaniasis vaccine does not ensure complete protection or eradication of the disease, however, the incidence of the disease can be reduced at the level of the canine population. It also benefits the human population, indirectly or not.
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Related articles that may interest you:
- Dog leishmaniasis: symptoms and treatment
- Sand flies: stings and swelling