Twenty-seven dogs infected naturally with Leishmania infantum were used in a randomised controlled trial to compare the clinical and parasitological efficacy of an oral treatment with a combination of metronidazole and spiramycin (13 dogs) with the efficacy of conventional treatment with meglumine antimonate and allopurinol (14 dogs) as controls. In the test group one dog had to be withdrawn from the treatment because it developed pemphigus foliaceus; 10 of the dogs were clinically responsive but none was cured parasitologically. In the control group four dogs were withdrawn from the treatment because of side effects; eight of the dogs were clinically responsive but none was cured parasitologically. The control group showed signs of improvement after an average of 30 days, whereas the test group did not show signs of improvement until after an average of 45 days.
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