International dogs leishmania

Travel diseases/foreign dogsThe term "travel diseases" or "Mediterranean diseases" refers to infectious diseases that occur predominantly in southern European countries. Mostly imported dogs, which are brought to Germany from abroad by animal welfare organizations, are diseased or carriers of these diseases. But there are already areas in Germany where these infectious diseases occur autochthonously, without the sick animal ever having been abroad.


Leishmaniasis is the most frequently imported infectious disease. The pathogen is a single-celled organism: "Leishmania infantum". Is transmitted via the bite of the sandfly ( Phlebotomus perniciosus). This disease is a zoonotic disease, d.h. humans and other mammals can also contract the disease. However, it has been proven that the affected animals can also become infected through the mating act, or that the infection can be passed on to the puppies in the womb (diaplacental transmission). Infection via contaminated blood is also possible.

Leishmaniasis of the dog is not curable and requires, once it has broken out, a lifelong control and usually also therapy. The pathogen can remain in the body of the animal for years (up to 10 years are currently described) without causing any signs of disease. Only when the animal's immune defense changes from cellular to humoral defense (antibody formation) does the animal become ill and the disease often only becomes detectable at that point. This means that "apparently healthy" dogs are imported to Germany, which only after years fall ill with the consequences of leishmaniasis. Dogs that are originally adapted to the conditions of the country of origin, such as z.B. Galgos or Podencos often do not get sick at all, less intensively, or much later (7-9 years after import), than for example Boxers, Golden Retrievers or Cocker Spaniels, which were imported. Adapted breeds maintain longer the cellular defense mechanisms that fight the symptoms of leishmaniasis.

A vaccination against leishmaniasis exists.


Babesiosis ("canine malaria")is a disease transmitted by tick species (z.B. alluvial tick, brown dog tick) transmitted disease. There are several species of babesia, which cause diseases of varying severity. So has z.B. an infection with strains of babesia from Ukraine or Hungary causes a high mortality rate of up to 80% and strains from France cause a mortality rate of ca. 20% from. The pathogen attacks the red blood cells. Thus leads primarily to anemia (anemia). The pathogen attacks the red blood cells. Leads thus primarily to anemia (anemia). There are severe, acute courses of the disease, but also chronic infections that can go unnoticed for a long time. The alluvial tick now also occurs in Germany as a vector. Seasonal activity of this tick is greatest in spring and late summer, with peak infection in April and October.

There is an approved babesiosis vaccine in France and Switzerland.


Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the brown dog tick, which is not yet native to Germany. However, the tick species can be introduced on the dog from the south. Nesting here in homes/hotels. Ehrlichia is a type of bacteria (rickettsia) that primarily affects the white blood cells and can lead to acute febrile illnesses. Chronic infections are also possible, often accompanied by nosebleeds or bloody urine or feces.

Heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis)

heartworms, resp. their larvae are transmitted by mosquitoes. The larvae continue to develop in the dog, then migrate into the vascular system and travel via the heart to the pulmonary arteries, where they become sexually mature, continue to multiply and, depending on the severity of the infestation, lead to everything from occasional coughing and poor performance to emaciation, anemia, pneumonia and embolisms. They are associated with bacteria (Wolbachia), which cause additional inflammatory changes.

Mosquitoes transmit skin worm larvae, which can also infect humans.

Thrombocytic anaplasmosis/granulocytic anaplasmosis

Thrombocytic anaplasmosis occurs worldwide (USA, Latin America), in Europe mainly in southern regions and is transmitted by the brown dog tick, which is not yet native to Germany ( s. Ehrlichiosis). The pathogen Anaplasma platys multiplies in the thrombocytes (blood platelets) and thus also leads to anemia, clotting disorders, fever and unspecific symptoms such as weakness, inappetence and weight loss.

Thrombocytic anaplasmosis does not correspond to granulocytic anaplasmosis in this country, which is transmitted by the native ticks wood tick (Ixodes ricinus) and the floodplain tick and whose causative agent Anaplasma phagocytophilum attacks the white blood cells ( granulocytes). The wood tick is widespread in northern and southern Europe, in Germany are ca. 5 . the tick carrier of the pathogen. The symptoms of anaplasmosis caused by A. phagocytophilum are manifold, weakness, fever, lameness, gastrointestinal symptoms, balance disorders, convulsions and anemia ( white and red blood cells, platelets) can occur.


Here, too, the carrier is the brown dog tick, which is not native to Germany, but the pathogen is not transmitted by the bite of the tick, but by swallowing the tick. In Germany, the hedgehog tick is discussed as a vector, since 30% of the native foxes are carriers of the disease. This parasite (a coccidia species) has also been found in the blood of dogs in heat, a diaplacental transmission and infections by ingestion of carrion in hunting dogs have occurred. The pathogen is in the Spanish. Portuguese region most widespread. In acute cases the dogs have fever, anemia, loss of appetite, swelling of the lymph nodes, bloody diarrhea and nasal and eye discharge. The infection can be fatal or cause no clinical symptoms at all. In the chronic course, from the 3. Months after the infection, the animals can get a stiff, gait, muscle pain and also epileptiform seizures ( in case of bleeding into the meninges). Detection of heatozoonosis can be difficult, as the pathogen is only detectable in the blood at the time of tick activity of the brown dog tick, as this is when its chance of being transmitted is highest.

Thelaziosis ( eye worm)

The vector of the eyeworm is a fruit fly (Phortica variegata), which likes to stay near strawberry fields. The disease originated in the Far East and the Russian Federation, but is now also widespread in Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany. Affected animals have conjunctivitis, corneal inflammation and secondary bacterial infections of the eyes.

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