Prognostic factors and life expectancy in canine leishmaniosis

Maria Aires Pereira, Rute Santos, Ricardo Oliveira, Lina Costa, Ana Prata, Vânia Gonçalves, Madalena Roquette, Helena Vala, Gabriela Santos-Gomes

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Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is a chronic and potentially fatal disease. The prognosis of CanL depends on the severity of the clinical signs and clinicopathological abnormalities presented by the dog at the time of diagnosis. This study aims to estimate the survival time of dogs with CanL, determining the prognostic value of different clinical and clinicopathological parameters. Medical records of 99 dogs diagnosed with CanL in five veterinary centers of the Alentejo region (Portugal) were examined retrospectively. The majority of dogs presented hyperproteinemia, moderate normocytic normochromic anemia, normal blood urea and creatinine levels and were classified as stage 1 according to the International Interest Society (IRIS) guidelines at the time of diagnosis. The severity of anemia, presence of concomitant infectious diseases at the time of diagnosis and the anti-Leishmania therapy were correlated with the survival time. The influence of renal dysfunction was evaluated by Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve and survival analysis. Survival analysis demonstrated that patients classified as IRIS 1 at the time of diagnosis survived more than four years, in contrast with dogs classified as IRIS 2 that survived around two and half years and dogs classified as IRIS 3-4 that survived around one month. IRIS stage deteriorated during the course of CanL in one third of the dogs and was the principal cause of death or euthanasia in a high proportion of animals. In some cases, dogs did not receive anti-Leishmania treatment or abandoned the veterinary follow-ups, which may have considerable repercussions for animal wellbeing and public health. This study reinforces the value of blood urea and creatinine levels as prognostic factors in CanL.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
Pages (from-to)128-144
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2020


  • Canine leishmaniosis
  • Iris staging
  • Prognostic factors
  • Survival time
  • Therapy selection and management


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