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Chagas Disease in Dogs

Diagnosis of Chagas Disease


You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health to your veterinarian, including the onset and nature of the symptoms and possible incidents that might have precipitated them. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination and may order a blood chemical profile with electrolyte panel, a complete blood count, a urinalysis, X-rays, electrocardiogram and ultrasound of the heart, and specific tests for Chagas disease (e.g., serology). 


X-Rays may indicate heart changes associated with Chagas disease, while an echocardiogram can reveal the chamber or wall abnormalities often seen with chronic forms of the disease. An electrocardiogram can exposes heart arrhythmias and other changes that are associated with Chagas disease.


Treatment for Chagas Disease


Although several drugs have resulted in somewhat limited improvement in dogs during the acute stage, none produce a clinical “cure.” Unfortunately, even those dogs that get treatment may progress to the chronic form of the disease. In these cases, supportive treatment of heart complications is of primary importance.


Living and Management


Dogs with Chagas disease and the heart disease that results have a guarded to poor prognosis. Dogs are not thought to directly pass Chagas disease to people, so euthanasia solely for this reason is not necessary. 



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