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Tropical Diseases in Pets: How to Fight?

22 JUN 2018 - 00H00 | ATUALIZADA EM 22 JUN 2018 - 17H00

Since the concept of single health has come to be recognized by all professionals in the area as the correct way to address public health problems, pets, which were already the reason for our work, have gained undisputed prominence. Their health is now central to the well-being of Brazilian families and, in times of global climate change, common diseases in tropical areas, especially those transmitted by vectors, are real threats to the quality of life of all involved.

Among the diseases transmitted by arthropods that most frequently affect our patients are: Leishmaniasis, Heartworm disease, Hemoplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis. They all have potentials of high morbidity and mortality - we always think we know them well - but somehow, from time to time they prove to us that there is so much more to learn. To make them even more important, some are zoonoses and therefore require special attention.

The symptomatology of these infections is variable, often raising doubts about clinical suspicion, which may be exacerbated by the ambiguity of the results of the complementary tests that we request. In addition, we must bear in mind that in tropical or subtropical areas, where the heat and humidity of the environment favor the populations of the vectors, multiple infections can always occur. Close the diagnosis of an infection does not exclude the need to continue research, especially when the patient responds poorly to the treatment instituted. Although treatment is possible, depending on the stage of development of the lesions that the parasites cause, there is the possibility of an outcome with irreversible sequelae or even death of the patient.

Considering the diagnostic difficulties, the severity of the diseases and the potential to cause infections in human relatives, the correct conduct translated into quality Veterinary Medicine is prevention. The only effective way to control these infections is to prevent them from happening. Some diseases need to be prevented by combining prophylaxis with vector repellency; others the only available tool is the fast repelence / death of the vectors. Today Veterinary Medicine has the privilege of having varied products, with different prices available to tutors. It's up to us to teach them what to do and how to keep their pets free of the vectors and parasites they bring to the family nucleus.