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Parasite Infection (Leishmaniasis) in Cats



Unless your cat is extremely ill, it will be treated as an outpatient. If it is emaciated and chronically infected, you may need to consider euthanasia because the prognosis is very poor for such animals. If your cat is not severely infected, your veterinarian will prescribe a high-quality protein diet, one that is designed specifically for renal insufficiency if necessary. If your cat has a single dermal nodule, it is best to surgically remove it.


This is a zoonotic infection, and the organisms residing in the lesions can be communicated to humans. These organisms will never be entirely eliminated, and relapse, requiring treatment, is inevitable.


There are medications that can be helpful in treating symptoms and in addressing the disease. Your veterinarian will advise you on the best course.


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will want to monitor your cat for clinical improvement and for identification of organisms in repeat biopsies. You can expect a relapse a few months to a year after the initial therapy; your veterinarian will want to recheck your cat's condition at least every two months after completion of the initial treatment. The prognosis for a successful cure is very guarded. 



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