This damn disease is very hard to understand for a European vet since it originates in Spain, and what can I tell you about it; first of all it is not a death sentence, at least I don’t know of a case that a dog has died due to disease. What I do know is that there were dogs that died because the treatment of this disease was wrong, that some vets in Europe started to use Glucantime in an incredibly high dosis on these dogs. They should be more honest and ask if they don’t know what they are doing, anything better than to kill a dog by treating him wrong.
Because it sometimes happens that you have an adopted dog that was tested negative and all of a sudden he appears positive, the answer is easy, nothing is perfect , but a testresult less than 80 is always negative, anywhere in the world except it seems for some vet in France, greedy of money, the methods of determining whether or not the disease is there are precise but never at 100%. Some tests, like PCT are very expensive and give out wrong positives, others like IFI (indirect fluoresence immune) may give out wrong positives and wrong negatives, the Elisa Method and the agglutination in turn give out more wrong negatives, but in all cases we are talking about an effectiveness of about 95/98%. Anybody who knows something about science knows that in science 100% does not exist.
We test about 1200/1600 animals a year and therefore it would mean that about 50 dogs have come up with a wrong testresult, and that is only based on statistics, not because we are doing it wrong. And not only that, it could be that the dog has been contaminated recently, even after having done the test, and if you are the adoptant of one of our dogs and you have any problema with any so called tropical disease, please let us know and send the information to email@example.com and we will forward it to one of our experts at the University of Madrid or Zaragoza, like Pablo or Guadalupe Miro, they will be delighted to be of help to these animals. The test that the University of Zaragoza does for us is a agglutination test that will either tell you it is positive or negative, but if it is positive we don’t know the percentage. We don’t really need to know it either because if it is positive, we will not let this dog be adopted, except the dog has been especially chosen by somebody because they are capable of dealing with it, nor could we test the dog every two months because of the money it will cost and thinking about the small amount we are getting nowadays for an adoption, with everything included; castration, deparasiting, vaccination , bloodtests, microchip, paperwork and passport for the transport, with all this you can imagine there will not be much left, at least not for us.
Coming back to Leishmania, we have had a case of a dog which was positive for 8 years after being with his new lady boss, a case of a teckel that went to England with a Real Lady who I will never forget, I will never forget her cleaning the tiles of the refuge when we were building it.
I hope this has helped you, any way I will try to talk to Pablo so he can write a more scientific article. Kisses, hugs and licks from all our animals! Fermin