Clinical and serological follow-up in dogs with visceral leishmaniosis treated with allopurinol and sodium stibogluconate.Vet Parasitol. 2005 Mar 31; 128(3-4):243-9.VP
Seven dogs with parasitologically proven clinical visceral leishmaniosis (Leishmania infantum infection) were treated with a combination of allopurinol and sodium stibogluconate. The dogs received first orally 15 mg/kg of allopurinol every 12 h until the clinical signs improved, in the following 1 month period allopurinol at same dose and subcutaneously 30 mg/kg of sodium stibogluconate combination were given daily and at the end of the combined treatment, allopurinol was continued alone at the same dose till the end of 8 months. During the treatment period, dogs were supported by additional proteins, vitamins, and minerals. A long acting insecticide (collar or drop) was also used in order to prevent further parasite transmission. Follow-up was maintained by clinical, clinicopathological evaluation, and parasitological examination of lymph node, serology using the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Before treatment commenced, the most important clinical signs were exfoliative dermatitis, ulcerations, peripheral lymhadenopathy, pale mucous membranes, weight loss, and ocular lesions. Clinicopathological findings included commonly anaemia, hyperproteinaemia, hyperglobulinaemia and hypoalbuminaemia. Before the treatment, amastigotes were seen in six of the seven dogs by examination of lymph node aspiration, and IFAT-titers were positive in all dogs. At the end of 8 months treatment, remission of clinical signs, restoration to normal of clinicopathological abnormalities were noticed. Lymph node aspiration was performed on three out of the seven dogs at the end of the treatment because of the very small sizes of the lymph nodes, and no amastigotes were observed. Although the mean IFAT-titer of the dogs were significantly (P < 0.001) lower compared with pretreatment, IFAT-titers of dogs were still positive. No relapses occurred during treatment period and a 6-24-month duration after the end of therapy. Based on the above results, long-term use of allopurinol combined with sodium stibogluconate together with support treatment concluded to have enough therapeutic efficacies in the treatment of dogs with visceral leishmaniosis. Observations of the cases for possible relapses were still going on and insecticide application was carefully carrying on in order preventing a possible re-infection.