1Laboratory of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece.
2Veterinary Clinic, Epanomi Thessaloniki
3Veterinary Clinic, Sindos Thessaloniki
4Veterinary Clinic, Trilofos Thessaloniki
5Faculty of Public and One Health, University of Thessaly, Greece
*Corresponding author: Menelaos Lefkaditis, Laboratory of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece
Submission: October 19, 2022;Published: October 26, 2022
ISSN : 2576-9162Volume9 Issue2
Dirofilariasis or canine heartworm infection is a serious and potentially fatal disease caused by the filarial nematode Dirofilaria immitis, a parasite transmitted through infected mosquitoes. Environmental and climatic changes, as well as transportation of animals and materials have increased heartworm infection potential making this parasitosis to present now a nearly worldwide distribution. Clinically healthy dogs from various areas of the prefecture of Thessaloniki, North Greece, were presented for routine serological examination against common parasitic diseases during the first half of 2021. 113 of them were found positive for dirofilariosis using the serological commercial kit Pet Check® (IDEXX), for the detection of adult D. immitis antigens. All 113 naturally infected dogs that were included in this study followed an alternative therapeutic protocol that consisted of doxycycline 10mg/kg q 12h PO for one month in combination with the administration of moxidectin (2.5mg/kg)+imidacloprid (10mg/kg) applied topically q 30d, for 12 months. There is no doubt that the protocol for treating canine dirofilariasis by using melarsomine is the first choice of treatment. However, in some countries this drug is not available. Subsequently clinicians are indirectly forced to suggest alternative treatments to improve and protect the health of infected dogs. The therapeutic protocol used in this study, where doxycycline is administered in combination moxidectin, has been shown to be successful in producing seronegative results for the specific antigens of D. immitis in all treated dogs after 12 months of administration.
Keywords:Dog; Dirofilaria; Doxycycline; Moxydectin; Treatment