Leishmaniasis and Heartworm

Leishmaniasis is present through all Portugal. The disease is transmitted by sandflies when they feed in infected animals and then feed on healthy animals. The insects are active from April to November and they are more active at the sunset close to rivers and lagoons. The clinical signs in dogs are weight loss, eye and skin lesions, lameness and enlarged lymph nodes.

Dirofilariasis or Heartworm. The Algarve is one of the worst affected areas with dirofilariasis. The disease is transmited by a mosquito called Culex pipiens. Once the mosquito bites an animal it transmits small larvae to the animal`s bloodstream. Once the larvae become adult they will be lodged in the animal’s heart. The clinical signs are cough, weight loss, breathing problems, dilated abdomen and heart failure.