May 21, 2024

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Mediterranean disease is an increasing threat to dogs in Europe, with travel and adoption from affected areas increasing the risk.

The so-called Mediterranean disease of dogs is a general term for various diseases that mainly occur in the warm regions of the Mediterranean Sea. It is transmitted by parasites and bacteria. Rising temperatures in central Europe, people returning on vacation from warmer Mediterranean regions, and dogs adopted from these regions could potentially spread the disease here as well.

A dog is running on the beach with a ball in its mouth.
Sun, games, and beach fun: For many dog ​​owners, having fun with their four-legged friends is just part of the game. (Iconic image) © Sergio Victor Vega/Imago

The most common Mediterranean diseases in dogs are:

  • leishmaniasis: The incurable and potentially fatal disease is caused by a tissue parasite called Leishmania. They are transmitted to dogs, other mammals, and even humans through sandfly bites. Even if infected, symptoms may not appear for several months to several years, but infected dogs are at risk of infecting other animals and humans. Symptoms of canine leishmaniasis include fever, deterioration of general condition. , loss of appetite, and weight loss due to fatigue. Diarrhea, inflammation, flaking, skin lesions, hair loss, blood in the stool or urine.Although less common, leishmaniasis in dogs can also cause nosebleeds, eye and joint damage, and epilepsy, according to the Swiss pet portal Given the I was informed. The ends of sick dogs’ ears often tear.
  • babesiose (Canine Malaria): This deadly disease is not contagious to humans. It is caused by a blood parasite that is transmitted through tick bites. Symptoms include fever, pale mucous membranes (due to anemia), weakness, jaundice, and blood, greenish, or brownish urine.
  • filariasis (filariasis): An infectious disease caused by heartworms transmitted by mosquitoes. Most symptoms appear years after infection and include chronic cough, difficulty breathing, weakness with collapse, and heart problems. Loss of appetite, weight loss, and edema may also indicate the disease. Blockage of vital blood vessels can lead to sudden death.
  • ehrlichiosis (tick fever): This disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by ticks. Puppies and dogs with weak immune systems are especially susceptible. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath, seizures, paralysis, and purulent discharge from the nose and eyes. Disorders of the equilibrium system may also occur.
  • Guardias: Intestinal infections are caused by the so-called Giardia, a single-celled parasite. Symptoms are especially noticeable in young, immunocompromised dogs and include recurrent diarrhea (foul-smelling and slimy due to detachment of the intestinal lining), vomiting, bloating, weight loss, and marked weakness and fatigue.
  • Liver zoonotic diseases: This Mediterranean disease is transmitted by swallowing or ingesting dog ticks. Young and weak dogs are especially susceptible. Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, muscle weakness, and bloody diarrhea.

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Mediterranean disease: clarify suspected cases immediately

Some of these diseases can also be transmitted to humans, so it’s important to disclose any suspected cases to your veterinarian as soon as possible. edgus magazine He explained. If you think your dog may be affected, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Early detection and prevention are important

Prevention of Mediterranean disease in dogs includes protection from ticks and mosquitoes, as well as regular check-ups and tests. Dog owners can prevent diseases such as dirofilariasis by taking dewormers. In addition, after traveling to the Mediterranean region, appropriate testing will help to rule out diseases whose symptoms only become noticeable after a delay. Vaccines for babesiosis and leishmaniasis currently exist, but although they slow the progression of the disease, they can only prevent disease in rare cases.

Mediterranean holidays with dogs: how to reduce the risk of infection

For many people, a holiday with their dog in the Mediterranean is the highlight of summer. The following tips can help reduce your risk of contracting any of the Mediterranean diseases listed above.

  • Always bring your dog indoors at dusk, morning, evening, and night.
  • Install mosquito nets on windows and doors to prevent insects from entering.
  • Using a bug spray or fogger will keep insects away from your property.
  • You can install a net sprayed with insect repellent over your or your dog’s sleeping area.

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