Mediterranean diseases in dogs
Mediterranean diseases is a colloquial term for several diseases that originated in the Mediterranean region and are still very widespread there today. There are Mediterranean diseases that only endanger dogs, as well as diseases that only affect humans. Some Mediterranean diseases can also infect dogs and humans.
The following Mediterranean diseases can affect dogs:
Mediterranean diseases in dogs: possible ways of transmission
Depending on the disease, a Mediterranean disease is usually transmitted to your dog either by mosquitoes or ticks. If one of these parasites carries the corresponding pathogen, it can enter the animal's body during biting.
The following Mediterranean diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes:
- Dirofilariosis (The larvae of the heartworm are transmitted to the four-legged friend via the bite site.)
- Leishmaniasis (Sand and butterfly mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of this Mediterranean disease.)
The following Mediterranean diseases are transmitted by ticks:
- Ehrlichiose (Dogs are infected mainly by the bite of the brown dog tick.)
- Hepatozoonosis (An infection is caused by swallowing an infected tick.)
- Anaplasmosis (In Europe, the common woodbuck in particular is responsible for the spread of this disease.)
- Borreliosis (Borreliosis is also mainly transmitted by the Common Woodbuck.)
Babesiosis is the only Mediterranean disease in dogs that can be transmitted by both mosquitoes and ticks. Among the ticks, the alluvial forest tick is the main carrier of the pathogens.
In contrast to the other Mediterranean diseases, Giardia are not transmitted by an intermediate host like a tick. Instead, your dog can take up the dangerous parasites as cysts, for example when it comes into contact with other infected species or contaminated water and food.
This makes Mediterranean diseases a danger for your dog
Many dog owners get scared as soon as they hear the word Mediterranean diseases. This is also quite justified. Because some of the diseases can have extremely serious consequences for your dog.
Symptoms often appear long after the infection. In addition, the complaints are usually quite unspecific. This makes it difficult to detect a Mediterranean disease in your dog promptly.
Often it would be the early diagnosis that makes a timely and promising treatment possible. For your dog, the late treatment of his Mediterranean disease can mean a long suffering and in some cases even fatal.
The term Mediterranean diseases is deceptive
The term "Mediterranean diseases" is based on the original distribution of infectious diseases. In the past, they were found almost exclusively in countries such as Italy, Greece, southern France, Spain and Turkey. Since these countries are for the most part popular holiday regions, Mediterranean diseases were initially typical travel diseases.
Accordingly, many people still believe that their dogs can only be infected with diseases such as leishmaniasis or ehrlichiosis in the countries of southern Europe. This may have corresponded to reality in the past, but today it looks different.
There is also a risk in Germany
Anyone who thinks that only dogs that come from an animal emergency service in Southern Europe or have been on holiday there with their master can be infected with one of the so-called Mediterranean diseases is wrong.
The often long incubation period enables the pathogens to be transmitted to other four-legged friends before the first symptoms of the disease have even occurred. In addition, some of the vectors have long settled in Northern Europe.
Sand flies, which can infect dogs with leishmaniasis among other things, are now also native to Germany. The same applies to the brown dog tick as a carrier of diseases such as ehrlichiosis as well as to the alluvial tick, which for example can transmit Babesiosis pathogens to your dog.
With most Mediterranean diseases, the risk of infection may still be significantly lower than in Italy, for example. However, it cannot be denied by the hand. And at the latest when it comes to Lyme disease or Giardia, it quickly becomes clear how misleading the term Mediterranean diseases is.
Mediterranean diseases in dogs: possibilities for prevention
Complete protection against infection with Mediterranean diseases can hardly be achieved in practice. However, there are a number of measures you can take to reduce the risk to your dog as much as possible.
First and foremost, prevention is about preventing your dog from being bitten by sand flies or ticks. That means first of all that you should avoid risk areas with your four-legged friend if possible.
After walking, search your dog thoroughly for ticks and remove them immediately. This applies both to your holiday in Southern Europe and during the warm season in Germany.
In addition, we recommend Bellfor ZEComplete Spray and Biscuits in order to prevent ticks or mosquitoes from infecting your dog right from the start. Bellfor ZEComplete contains insect fat and a number of oils with a high content of lauric acid.
Studies have shown that lauric acid has a deterrent effect on parasites such as ticks. With Bellfor ZEComplete, you can naturally protect your dog from mosquito or tick bites, and thus from infection with Mediterranean diseases.
Take disease symptoms seriously
Effective protection against ticks and mosquitoes is important for the prevention of Mediterranean diseases. However, there is still a risk. For this reason you should take any symptoms seriously and if in doubt, do not hesitate to consult a veterinarian.
Because the sooner a Mediterranean disease is diagnosed and treated in your dog, the more likely it is that the infection can be successfully treated.
Treating diarrhoea caused by Mediterranean diseases
In some Mediterranean diseases, such as leishmaniasis, diarrhoea is also one of the symptoms. In addition to veterinary treatment, it can therefore be useful to counteract the symptoms with Bellfor Gastro Relax.
Gastro Relax is a natural dietary supplement that we have developed together with veterinarians specifically to combat diarrhoea in dogs. It is highly effective and has excellent digestibility.