Diet for dogs with leishmaniosis


The leishmaniasis or leishmaniasis is a serious parasitic disease transmitted by the parasite Leishmania. It weakens the immune system and the symptoms can be varied. Depending on race, size and other factors, the disease behaves differently. Therefore, in addition to the treatment that your veterinarian advises you it is necessary to take care of their life habits and especially their diet.

Leishmania affects the immune system of our dog so it is essential to strengthen it and provide an environment without stress or sudden changes. In advanced stages of the disease, kidneys and liver may be affected. So good nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits will help your dog increase its defenses. Keep reading this Animal Expert article and find out what the feeding dogs with leishmaniasis.

While the excessive consumption of protein It can be very harmful for our dog, reducing them extremely is also dangerous. We must ensure that the proteins we provide are of quality and animal origin, since these are more easily transformed into tissue, and do not force the kidney.

If the dog's kidneys have not been affected by the disease, it is not necessary to restrict excess protein intake. If unfortunately it is the case, it would be convenient. Thus we reduce the residues of protein catabolism and phosphorus retention.

We must provide easily digestible proteins to contribute to the recovery of muscle mass. Chicken or salmon are a good option if you give them homemade food. On the other hand, the feeds usually contain already easily digestible proteins.

The antioxidants They are essential for your dog's immune response. You should consult your veterinarian for advice on the right combination for each cane affected by leishmania.

Vitamins A, E and C are very important for a strong immune system, since they protect cells against oxidation and contribute to the recovery of wounds and eczema caused by the disease. Vitamin C is not produced by the dog's body, so we must incorporate it into your diet in a mandatory way.

Antioxidants are present in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, but it can be difficult for your dog to eat the right amounts, so it is advisable to give it as a supplement. Check our article on fruits and vegetables good for dogs, and reject all those that may be toxic to your body.

Omega 3 and Omega 6

He omega 3 and omega 6 they are polyunsaturated fats that are considered essential, that is, that the animal body is not able to produce them on its own.

Increasing the consumption of omega 3 and 6 stimulates the immune system and contributes to the recovery of the skin and hair of the dog with leishmaniasis. Since we have just commented that the animal body cannot produce these fats, it is most appropriate to provide them as a supplement or by adding foods rich in them, such as fish oil.

The importance of h>

It is very important that you take care of your hydration. Dogs with leishmania should always have fresh and abundant water, since good hydration helps the normal functioning of internal organs.

Because of the disease, your dog may not drink enough, especially if he only feeds on feed. Therefore, you should encourage your dog to drink as much as possible, but without forcing it.

Other tips on feeding dogs with Leishmania

These are the main factors to consider to increase the life expectancy of a dog with leishmaniasis. It is not necessary to radically change your diet, we just have to provide you with the necessary tools to strengthen your immune system and fight the disease.

If you opt for a specific feed, there are several in the market whose composition suits the specific needs of your dog. When you choose a I think for animalswith leishmaniasis Pay special attention to its composition. They must contain the following characteristics:

  • Immune system booster.
  • Proper protein ratio.
  • Improvement of inflammatory processes and skin lesions.
  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Low phosphorus levels.

Nowadays, with proper care and a balanced diet, a dog diagnosed positively with leishmaniasis can live happily for many years.

If you want to read more articles similar to Feeding for dogs with leishmaniasis, we recommend that you enter our Balanced Diets section.

Leishmania dog feeding

Good morning, I wanted to ask you the following question: my dog ​​Samba (born about 01/12/12) and weighing 25 kg, we detected in October a chancre of inoculation of the Leishmania mosquito. He tested positive and we did the relevant treatment (Milteforan 28 days and Zyloric daily). The January test went very well and did not even have proteinuria, which is what would indicate an onset of kidney problems. So far I have been giving the Acana Puppy & Junior feed (to which I add Hokamix and cod oil) and I wanted to make the change to adult feed. I want to give him the best feed and that does not contain cereals because I have been told that dogs with Leishmania must have an excellent diet. I am doubting between several feeds and brands since I have doubts about the percentages of proteins and fats suitable for a dog with leishmania and they have also told me that it should be a feed rich in Vitamin E and Omega 3. The options I am considering are the following : - TOTW Prairie Canine with Bison and deer - Acana Grasslands for dogs with lamb - Acana Wild Prairie for dogs with chicken Also rated: - TOTW Pacific Stream Canine with smoked salmon. But it is not clear which preservative has been used for the mandatory conservation of fishmeal. In addition, I would like the feed not to contain Ethoxyquin (E324) and I can't find this information either. Given all of the above, could you help me choose the best I think, please? Thank you very much for your attention.

I think the food you have thought for Samba is ideal, since it is true that it is essential to provide a nutrient-rich food with an enriched contribution of omega fatty acids to help the animal have all its defenses in shape against leishmania infection . In your case, I must tell you that both Acana and Taste of the Wild are brands that in their manifesto certify that their food is free of the preservative ethoxyquin, and therefore you would not mind taking any of the two. As a recommendation, I prefer more fish-based foods, such as TOTW Pacific Stream or Acana Pacifica. You can start with the first, continuing with the contribution of Hokamix and fish oil. I hope I've been helpful.

A disease with many symptoms

This parasite enters the dog's body and, Depending on your immune reaction, there are many different symptoms that appear in any combination:

  • Skin problems
  • Locomotor system
  • Lost> And many other things. Although the most difficult to identify are diseases in the organs.

There are different tests to test whether the dog is infected or not and not all infected dogs end up developing a disease, which will depend on the dog and its immune system.

The bad news is that the incubation period of Leishmaniosis is very long, up to 7 years, which, any change in the life of our dog that alters that balance can end an illness.

Improving the condition of my dog ​​with Leishmaniosis through natural feeding

The treatment of Leishmaniosis always has to be done by a veterinarian And there are different types of medications on the market to treat it (which doesn't cure it).

In relation to feeding, due to the multitude of manifestations that the disease can have, there is no single and especially recommended diet, but there are several guidelines that can be taken into account and that can help the dog to be better.

Many dogs with Leishmania take the medicine Allopurinol, used for the treatment of uric acid in humans, and that influences the metabolism of purines (non-essential nucleic acid), which may cause Xanthine crystals in some dogs. The tests of whether the dog excretes stones or sediments of Xanthine can be done with urine test or ultrasound of the bladder.

The symptoms of Leishmania do not come from the parasite, but from the dog's immune system - Doris @puromenu


If our dog is receiving treatment and may have a tendency to present these crystals, to minimize the risk the feed should have the least amount of purines possible.

The foods that more purines they have are, curiously, meat and offal (We all know about the connection between uric acid and meat). There are several tables on the internet where you can find the lowest purine foods. The fundamental problem is that the dog is really a carnivore and needs animal protein and fat. So how can we achieve it?

Mainly we must reduce the amount of viscera to a minimum or replace them. In general the lower meats in purines They are chicken, lamb, rabbit and duck, avoiding skin and organs.

We will also try to use muscle meats (with more quality protein and easy to digest) against meats from other parts with connective tissue or cartilaginous (such as green gut, tracheas or others).

You can also think about lowering the amount of meat by replacing it with dairy products and, if there is no other way, you can put a larger than normal amount of cereals or carbohydrates.

Too it is possible to introduce fish, since, in general, they are low in purines, for example the Cod, the Perch, the Sole, the Pike and the Eglefino (similar to the cod), yes, all without skin.

My dog ​​Tess, 10 and a half years old, with Leishmania and in perfect condition.

The feed problem and Leishmania

There are two other foods, not meat, that are rich in purines and should be avoided so as not to cause stone problems: it is about soy and yeast. This is where the problem begins if we think of our dog with Leishmania.

Many feeds contain a large amount of yeast and / or soy. Our advice? We should avoid them completely. Of course, it does not help that many feeds do not specify their composition in the table of ingredients. As we have told on other occasions, The manufacturers they often buy the cheapest cereal items in the market, meaning that sometimes there is more wheat, sometimes soy, etc. So they usually do not specify more than the percentage of cereals of the feed.

Another common challenge with feed is that we also don't know what kind of meats were used to make it, among which it is not uncommon to find skins, legs, feathers, organs etc. which, as we have already pointed out, would be high in purines. The same happens, Unfortunately, with the cans.


Another problem that prone dogs can suffer are oxalate crystals. In general, you should also look at the amount in the diet. Many vegetables and other foods contain a lot of oxalate, for example: amaranth, chard, spinach, beet and parsley. Here you have to look at all prepared food, as it often contains large amounts of beets, used as a byproduct of the sugar industry. In general there are not many brands of feed that can be used with a low purine diet. A homemade diet would be much better and, in addition, it can be corrected for each dog and each problem.

My dog ​​Lilly, 3 and a half years old, now negativized :-)

Other problems

There are other problems that can afflict dogs with Leishmania, for example, renal problems. In this case, the feeding should be focused on this problem and should be assisted by a nutritionist or a veterinarian with knowledge of nutrition.

If our dog with Leishmania suffers from kidney problems, here are some good recommendations about his diet:

  • Reduce phosphorus in the diet (reduce bones and replace calcium).
  • Not reduce the quantity or quality of proteins
  • Use foods rich in carotinoids (red pepper, carrot or zucchini).
  • Do it rich in sulfur (egg yolk, fish, cheese, broccoli, fruits).
  • Do it high in fat
  • Supplement potassium, trace elements, coenzyme Q10 and vitamins B and C.
  • Use some medicinal herbs They can help: dandelion, nettle (seed) and alfalfa.

Something very important and that we have mentioned before: The symptoms that leishmania can show really do not come from the parasite, but from the dog's own immune system. That is why it is good to remember that we will help our dog whenever we seek balance and do not over-stimulate it.
There are several supplements that help this, for example, the Spirulina or Propolis, Omega 3 rich oils, MSM, aloe vera, nettle, the rose hip or the cat's nail.

A very interesting plant is the plant Artemisia Annua, there are studies that show that It can help lower the amount of leishmanias in the dog's body and without side effects.
The use of medicinal plants should always be within a protocol with a veterinarian, although, often these practices are not known and it is useful to inform our specialist so that he can inform himself and advise us in an integral way.

Every dog ​​is a world and more when it comes to Leishmania. Unfortunately, there is no general food for everyone but, from my own experience, dogs improve a lot when they eat natural and they are with natural treatments in conjunction with their veterinary treatment.

I have two bitches with leishmania, and, at this moment, one has negativized and the other is very good. Remember that leishmania is not curable, you can only improve the immune system so that the dog itself can face this parasite.

I am sure that, with these tips and with your love, your dog and you will spend many good years together.

Doris She is a canine and feline nutritionist certified in Puromenu. If you have a question or want to contact her you can leave a comment in this post or send us an email to [email protected] and we will answer you

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