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CNS NewsA deadly parasite affecting dogs has been confirmed in California, raising concerns among pet owners. The parasite, known as Leishmania Infantum, is transmitted through the bites of sandflies and can lead to a serious and often fatal disease called leishmaniasis. While the parasite is more commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, its presence in California highlights the need for vigilance among dog owners.

Symptoms of leishmaniasis in dogs can vary, including weight loss, lethargy, hair loss, and skin lesions. If left untreated, the disease can progress and cause organ damage, ultimately leading to death. Dog owners need to be aware of the signs of leishmaniasis and seek veterinary care if their pet exhibits any concerning symptoms.

Preventing sandfly bites is key to reducing the risk of leishmaniasis in dogs. This can be done by using insect repellents, keeping dogs indoors during peak sandfly activity times, and using insecticidal collars or spot-on treatments. Additionally, limiting exposure to areas where sandflies are prevalent, such as wooded or sandy areas, can help reduce the risk of infection.

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It is also important for dog owners to be aware of the potential for the parasite to be transmitted to humans. While human cases of leishmaniasis are rare in the United States, they can occur, particularly in individuals with compromised immune systems. Taking steps to protect both dogs and humans from sandfly bites is crucial in preventing the spread of this potentially deadly parasite.

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