Due to increasing numbers of dogs that are imported from, or have been visiting Mediterranean countries, canine leishmaniasis has become a very important infectious disease in Germany. The aim of this study was to determine which laboratory and clinical parameters can be used as prognostic factors, whether level of antibody titre is a prognostic factor, and whether treatment leads to a better prognosis in a country in which reinfection is extremely unlikely. Data of 72 dogs infected with Leishmania infantum that had been presented to the Clinic of Small Animal Medicine of the LMU University of Munich, Germany, and whose owners answered a detailed questionnaire, were reviewed retrospectively. All dogs included in the study had clinical signs compatible with canine leishmaniasis. No correlation between the level of antibody titres (carried out by immunofluorescence assay) and survival time was found (p = 0.982). However, there was a significant correlation between survival time and presence of proteinuria (p < 0.001), hypoalbuminemia (p = 0.002), and lymphopenia (p = 0.040) in all treated dogs. Furthermore, treatment of diseased dogs resulted in a longer survival time (p = 0.003). In conclusion, levels of antibody titres did not correlate with prognosis. More useful parameters to predict shorter survival were proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia and lymphopenia. Also, treatment was correlated with a longer survival of almost two years.
- Accepted July 11, 2012.
- British Veterinary Association