Around here, infection in dogs caused by Leishmania infantum typically comes up in the context of imported dogs, particularly those from countries around the Mediterranean (e.g. Greece, Israel, Spain).  This parasite is usually transmitted between a variety of mammalian species, including dogs and humans, by certain species of sandflies.  We’re quite lucky here in Ontario

One of the first diseases that really hit home for me in terms of concerns about canine importation and travel was leishmaniasis. This nasty parasitic disease is something I certainly didn’t learn about in vet school, and it wasn’t on my radar at all until I started getting calls for help managing infected dogs.


I’ve written a fair bit about leishmaniasis in dogs lately, mainly in the context of potential risks from imported dogs. This parasitic infection is a concern because it can be serious and hard to treat, and also affects humans. Dogs are the main reservoir of Leishmania infantum, and it’s an important cause of disease

In some ways, I get it. However, the rest of me just wants to bang my head against the wall.

The short story: a blind dog was imported from Iran. Upon arrival, it was found to have (probably among other things) leishmaniasis, a concerning parasitic disease that we’re seeing occasionally in imported dogs. Leishmaniasis is