SPECIFIC DIAGNOSTIC TESTS
Examination for dirofilariasis – parasites localized in the heart.
Dirofilariasis is a parasitic disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis. Dogs and cats become infected through the bite of mosquitoes, carriers of the microfilariae, which they inoculate in the animal and its blood during the bite. Heartworm disease has been found in dogs, cats, wolves, foxes, ferrets and very rarely in humans. The development of the parasite is quite complex and there is a significant period between the infection and the appearance of the first signs. Adult forms are localized in the pulmonary arteries and the heart, and microfilariae circulate in the blood.
Signs of the disease – cough / especially after exertion/, difficulty and/or rapid breathing, easy fatigue, weight loss, seizures. X-ray changes in the lungs and pronounced heart failure were detected.
Treating animals with clinical signs is quite difficult and unfortunately in most cases – unsuccessful. Prevention is the most reliable in this case, it is recommended that the animals be treated with Ivermectin once a year, as well as periodic examination /once every six months/ for possible infection. Detecting the disease at an early stage gives a much better chance of curing it.
Parasites can be detected by:
– tests for microfilariae in the blood – direct method, Knott’s method these tests are quick, easy to perform, but they only detect microfilariae circulating in the peripheral blood. The number of microfilariae does not correlate directly with the number of adult parasites and is therefore not an indicator of disease severity;
— antigenic tests — in most cases, the method of detecting microfilariae is supplemented by antigenic tests, which detect antigens released by the adult female parasites. For this reason, these tests are falsely negative in the first 5-8 months of infection, until the parasite reaches sexual maturity;
– x-ray examination – the radiography of lungs and heart is done in animals that have tested positive for the purpose of assessing the extent of impairments and the change in cardiac silhouette.
Examination on vector-borne diseases
It is an infectious disease caused by intracellular bacterial agents localized in monocytes. The infection is transmissible through ticks. After the inoculation of the causative agents, they penetrate the monocytes of the blood, multiply and subsequently localize in the mononuclear phagocytic cells of the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes. The incubation period / the period from infection to clinical manifestation of the disease / is between 8-20 days and can take acute, subacute or chronic.
The main signs of the disease are depression, lethargy, weight loss, lack of appetite, enlarged lymph nodes, small hemorrhages on the skin and mucous membranes, swelling of the hind limbs and scrotum.
The disease can be detected by:
– rapid antigen test – the test is easy and affordable – a small amount of blood from the animal is required. Its reliability is up to 80%;
– ELISA study – available only in specialized laboratories. High specificity of the test, used to refine the diagnosis.
Leishmaniosis is a transmissible protozoan disease, dangerous not only for pets but also for humans. The vectors /those that transmit the disease/ are a certain type of flies – phlebotomus (sand flies). The incubation period can be from 3 months to 7 years. Clinical signs are associated with enlarged lymph nodes, skin changes, dermatitis, ulcers or wounds, hyperkeratosis of the nose, hyperkeratosis of the extremities, pale mucous membranes, enlarged spleen, weight loss, eye pathology, etc.
Treatment of the disease is difficult and not always successful, therefore prevention is of great importance.
The diagnosis can be made by:
– rapid antigen test — the test is easy and affordable — a small amount of blood from the animal is required. Its reliability is up to 80%;
– CBC – examination of the formed elements of the blood;
– ELISA test – available only in specialized laboratories. High specificity of the test, used to refine the diagnosis.