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New Website Helps UK Vets Treat Leishmaniasis

20 years ago

29th January, 2004 00h00

Jan 2004 saw the launch of new website, The site was created to help busy vets diagnose and treat the tropical infection Leishmaniasis. This killer disease, once unheard of in the UK, is fast becoming a large problem as more pets travel to exotic destinations with their pet passports. A recent report in the Veterinary Record (Feb 2003) suggested that as many as 10% of sick dogs entering the UK may carry the infection*. The site places all relevant information at the fingertips of the busy clinician:EU shortages, expense and frustrating red tape has previously deterred many vets from treating this condition. But Glucantime, if used quickly enough can add years to the average survival time of infected pets**. One vet reported an agonising delay of almost three months waiting for treatment to arrive - can undertake the entire process in 7-10 working days. On the significance of the site Operations Manager Dave Nicol said, “Thousands of pets travel to and from EU destinations each year. So far the government’s focus has been on Rabies but recent research has shown that as many as 30% of sick pets re-entering the UK tested positive for Leishmaniasis, Babesiosis or Ehrlichiasis. Given that close to 100,000 animals have entered the UK since the pet passport scheme began that’s a lot of potentially infected pets!” More worryingly he added, “The veterinary profession is not yet well equipped to deal with these fatal diseases. Training is minimal, quick diagnosis is unlikely and the best treatments are difficult to obtain - available only on import, under a special government licence.” The site, he claims, is unique because it offers busy vets everything they need to deal effectively with the problem. “ goes far beyond simply having a few pages of a book published online. It’s all about action. At our site vets can not only educate themselves, but move quickly to diagnosis and then treatment with Glucantime. Ordering is easy, fast and available 24hrs at the click of a mouse.” It remains to be seen how this service will affect average survival time of infected pets, but the reduced delay will mean quicker treatment, better service for pet owners and less stress for vets. The website can be found at References *Review of exotic infectious diseases in small animals entering the United Kingdom from abroad diagnosed by PCR - Veterinary Record, Feb 8, 2003. **Combination allopurinol and antimony treatment versus antimony alone and allopurinol alone in the treatment of canine leishmaniasis (96 cases). - J Vet Intern Med. 1999 Sep-Oct; 13(5): 413-5.

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