Causes And Symptoms Of Leishmaniasis In Cats

Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats: The laishmaniosis It is a disease that affects animals, and although it is usually associated with dogs, the truth is that cats can also suffer from it. This disease is caused by the bite of a mosquito of the sandfly subfamily which, after absorbing the blood of an infected animal, bites a healthy animal, transmitting the parasite. For this reason, the disease it is not transmitted without the mosquito bite, so the infected animal cannot transmit the parasite to another animal or person. It can become fatal if not treated in time, and given the importance of being able to identify the presence of the disease in your feline in time, in this article we inform you about the symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats.


Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats

At we have previously explained how to know if your dog has leishmaniasis, but since there is also the possibility that this disease affects our feline friends, we have thought it convenient to also explain the symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats.


The truth is that this disease is very common in Spain, especially on the Mediterranean coast and the center of the peninsula. the parasite can affect humans, although it is more common in cats and dogs. Leishmaniasis was considered a rare disease in cats, but over time the cases of felines suffering from this disease have been increasing. It seems that cats that are affected by leishmaniasis are more likely to have had or have some disease, which is why your immune system is weaker. As a consequence of this fragility of the immune system, the chances of contracting the disease are higher.

Due to the importance of detecting the disease in time to increase the chances that our feline friend will recover, below we explain what are the symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats.

Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats - Leishmaniasis

Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats

The symptoms of leishmaniasis can take time to manifest because it is a disease with a long incubation period. Also, when symptoms begin to develop, no obvious signs, which can make it difficult for us to realize that our cat is infected. Not all pets infected with the parasite develop the disease. In general, the symptoms of feline leishmaniasis It usually presents the following signs.

Skin changes

One of the signs that can most alert us that our cat has a health problem is the presence of ulcerative-crusted lesions around the eyes and nose, on the paws or other areas of the skin. Likewise, the cat may also experience a hair loss and the presence of dandruff. These symptoms may lead one to think that the cat is suffering from a simple dermatological problem, such as bacterial dermatitis or dermatophytosis. Also common is the presence of painless nodules under the skinespecially located in the head, ears and neck and the lymph nodes can become swollen.

Eye symptoms

The eyes are damaged by the infection, resulting in conjunctivitis, swollen eyelids, and inflamed uvea.

Behavior changes

When your cat suffers from leishmaniasis, they may be more apathetic towards us, experience a lack of appetite and, as a consequence, lose weight. These are symptoms that usually progress progressively, so you should be vigilant if you detect a lack of appetite in the feline.

Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats - Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats

Diagnosis of leishmaniasis in cats

If after observing your cat you have identified any of the possible symptoms of leishmaniasis in felines, do not hesitate to go to your veterinary center for the necessary tests to be carried out. The veterinarian will perform a physical examination to detect the presence of signs that may lead to a first diagnosis, in addition to asking you about questions that could indicate the presence of a problem in your pet. Most often, a blood testthe easiest and fastest way to detect the presence of parasites.

What to do if my cat has leishmaniasis?

Leishmaniasis in cats does not have a definitive cure, however, both in animals and in men, two types of treatment are usually carried out in order to control the disease:

  • Preventive treatment. This is applied before a cat has leishmaniasis in order to prevent it and prevent our cat from becoming infected. It consists of the use of physical barriers to prevent mosquitoes from biting our cat: insecticides, use of anti-mosquito mesh on windows, repellents, etc. However, the use of repellents in a cat should always be consulted by the veterinarian, since many of these products are toxic.
  • drug treatment. When a cat has been diagnosed with leishmaniasis, drugs are administered to try to control the disease so that our cat enjoys the best possible quality of life. In this article we explain how to give a cat medicine. When the symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats subside, veterinary supervision should continue, since there is a risk of new outbreaks of the disease appearing.
Symptoms of leishmaniasis in cats - What to do if my cat has leishmaniasis

How to prevent leishmaniasis in cats?

Leishmaniasis in cats and its cure is behind that in the case of dogs. In the latter there is a vaccine that prevents the disease so that the dog cannot be infected with the parasite. However, because the disease is less prevalent in felines, less research has been done.

Preventive methods to avoid leishmaniasis in our cat are key, even though they do not guarantee complete protection. Consult the veterinarian to recommend the best products to prevent laishmaniosis: pipette, necklace, sprays. It is essential go regularly to the veterinary center to perform tests on our cat and check its health status. If you have a dog, this article in which we explain how to prevent canine leishmaniasis may be of interest to you.

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