Heartworms in Dogs
Dogs suffering from heartworms are, infested by the organism Dirofilaria immitis, a parasitic nematode (roundworm) commonly referred to as the heartworm. The severity of this disease is directly dependent upon the number of worms present in the body, the duration of the infestation, and the response of the host (the infested dog is the host).
In regions where Dirofilaria immitis is endemic, dogs without proper heartworm protection are almost 100 percent likely to suffer from heartworm infestation. The heartworm is mainly endemic in geographic areas with tropical and subtropical climates, and is also commonly found along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, and the Ohio and Mississippi river basins. The presence of Dirofilaria immitis is not limited to these areas, however, it is found worldwide. Dogs have been diagnosed with heartworm disease in all 50 U.S. states.
Heartworm disease is preventable with the administration of a heartworm prophylaxis (preventative) medication, as recommended by a veterinarian.
CAUSES of Heartworms
Heartworms are spread through MOSQUITOS that carry the infective heartworm larvae. These larvae migrate from the bite wound through the dog’s body until they reach the heart and blood vessels of the lungs, a process that takes approximately six months. The larvae mature in the dog’s body -- an adult heartworm can grow to be about 12 inches long. These adults reproduce and release immature heartworms, known as microfilariae, directly into the dog’s blood. When a mosquito bites an already infected dog, it may take in these microfilariae with the dog’s blood, and then pass on the infective heartworm larvae (the microfilariae develop once inside the mosquito) to another dog, thereby continuing the parasite’s life cycle and spreading the disease to the next host.
SYMPTOMS AND TYPES of Heartworms
Heartworm disease is defined in three classes, varying in severity.
#Dogs with Class I heartworm disease are often asymptomatic, meaning they exhibit no visible symptoms, or may only exhibit minimal signs such as an occasional cough.
#Class II patients usually exhibit coughing and unusual intolerance to exercise.
#The most severe cases, defined as Class III, may show symptoms of anemia, exercise intolerance, fainting spells, and -- in severely affected dogs, right-sided chronic heart failure.
Leishmaniasis in Dogs
Leishmaniasis is caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania infantum, which is transmitted by SAND FLIES of the Phlebotomus species. Dogs are the major reservoir for this infection. This infection can causes disease in humans too, particularly immunosuppressed adults and children.
Leishmaniasis occurs in 88 tropical and subtropical countries. The settings in which leishmaniasis is found range from rainforests in Central and South America to deserts in western Asia and the Middle East.
In endemic areas the infection prevalence in dogs may approach 90% but most dogs are asymptomatic as their immune response plays a large part in determining the outcome of infection; Leishmaniasis is a chronic disease with a long incubation period - it can be 3 months to 7 years after infection that clinical signs develop.
SYMPTOMS of Leishmaniasis in Dogs
Leishmaniasis, the medical term used for the diseased condition that is brought about by the protozoan parasite Leishmania, can be categorized by two types of diseases in dogs: a cutaneous (skin) reaction and a visceral (abdominal organ) reaction -- also known as black fever, the most severe form of leishmaniasis.
The infection is acquired when sandflies transmit the flagellated parasites into the skin of a host. In dogs, it invariably spreads throughout the body to most organs; renal (kidney) failure is the most common cause of death, and virtually all infected dogs develop visceral or systemic disease. As much as 90 percent of infected dogs will also have skin involvement
The main organ systems affected are the skin, kidneys, spleen, liver, eyes, and joints. There is also commonly a skin reaction, with lesions on the skin, and hair loss. There is marked tendency to hemorrhage.
It is important to note that leishmaniasis is a zoonotic infection, and the organisms residing in the lesions can be communicated to humans.
1. INTENDED USE
Canine Heartworm Ag /Canine Leishmania Rapid Test is a sandwich lateral flow immunochromatographic assay for the qualitative detection of Dirofilaria immitis (CHW Ag) /Leishmania infantum (LSH Ab) in dog’s blood.
2. PRINCIPLE OF THE ASSAY
Canine Heartworm Ag /Canine Leishmania Rapid Test is based on sandwich lateral flow immunochromatographic assay. When sample is applied into the sample hole on the device, the liquid will laterally flow on the surface of the test strip. If there is enough CHW /LSH antigen in the sample, a visible T band will appear. The C band should always appear after a sample is applied, indicating a valid result. By this means, the device can accurately indicate the presence of Dirofilaria immitis antigen in the sample.
3. TEST PROCEDURE
#Take out the cassette from the foil pouch and place it horizontally.
#If using the whole blood as sample, please do a dilution of 1:1 with the provided assay buffer.
#Gradually drip 3 drops of sample extraction into the sample hole “S”.
#Interpret the result in 5-10 minutes.