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Vaccine now available against Leishmaniosis

The first vaccine has now been launched in the UK against Leishmaniosis, an incurable and often fatal dog disease.

To mark the arrival of this significant new development in the protection of your dog against life-threatening diseases whilst travelling abroad, we are offering a free Pet Travel consultation to discuss how best to protect your pet against this disease and many others.

Leishmaniosis presents a significant threat to dogs travelling abroad and so vaccination is something you may wish to consider if you are taking your dog on holiday.

The disease is spread to dogs through the bites of infected sand flies. It is endemic in countries in southern Europe bordering the Mediterranean, including Spain, the South of France and Italy, where 2.5 million dogs are already believed to be infected with the parasite. It is spreading northwards as more people travel with their dogs or import infected animals from endemic areas. Aside from vaccination, the only preventative measures available are topical insecticidal treatments, collars and keeping your dog in at dawn and dusk - the times of the day when the sand fly is most active.

If you're planning to travel to a region where the disease is endemic, vaccinating your dog is a simple and effective way to protect your dog and to give you peace of mind. It will also help to slow the disease's spread into non-endemic regions. The new vaccine can be given from six months of age and requires three injections given at three week intervals.

If your pet has already travelled to any of these areas, we may recommend a blood test to check that your pet does not already harbour the parasite before starting the vaccination course.

Please note topical insecticidal treatments or collars will still be required to protect your dog against many other life-threatening diseases, e.g. - ticks and heartworm whilst travelling abroad.

If you would like any further information on Leishmaniosis, regions where it is endemic or the new vaccine, please contact the practice on 0131 333 3203. We would recommend making your free consultation at least three months prior to your travel date, to allow enough time to complete the vaccination course and to discuss other treatment requirements for the duration of your dog's time abroad.