What is the correct diet to complement treatment for leishmaniasis? | Vets & Clinics

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What is the correct diet to complement treatment for leishmaniasis?

The spectrum of diseases caused by Leishmania produce inflammatory and immune-mediated lesions in several organs, notably interstitial nephritis, dermatitis, chronic hepatitis and keratoconjunctivitis, among others. There is no cure for leishmaniasis, but it can be controlled. The prognosis is worse in animals with kidney failure.

Nutrition and illnesses

The classic treatment for leishmaniasis is N-methylglucamine, although more and more clinicians use allopurinol in monotherapy. Support treatment and the provision of an adequate diet, however, are also very important to minimise damage.

Suitable diet for the treatment of leishmaniasis

A positive diagnosis of leishmaniasis is confirmed in 70% of dogs suspected of having the condition. If the patient’s clinical signs do not include kidney failure, then it may benefit from the ADVANCE VET DIETS Urinary Low Purine diet. If on the contrary the dog also has kidney failure, it is better to provide a renal diet.

Here we explain what each of these diets contains:

This diet is indicated for:

  • Boosting cell immunity
  • Helping reduce the risk of forming urate and cystine stones which are associated with the leishmaniasis treatment
  • Improving inflammation and skin lesions
  • Dogs with leishmaniasis in the absence of kidney failure

The diet’s multiple benefits include:

  • low purine content, low nucleotide content. This prevents the formation of xanthine stones that are associated with allopurinol treatment.
  • High digestibility: thanks to the optimised nutrient supply, which reduces waste generation.
  • Ideal balance of protein and energy: this contributes to the maintenance of muscle mass and good immune system function.
  • Proteins of a high biological value and with a correct amino acid profile.
  • Biotin, linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids: to improve the recovery of the skin and coat.
  • Extra dose of vitamin C: to prevent eye problems.
  • Low phosphorus content: to prevent glomerular damage.

This diet is indicated in the following scenarios:

  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Calcium oxalate stones
  • Cystine and urate crystals
  • Early stages of congestive heart failure
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Arterial hypertension

It is contraindicated for conditions that require a high phosphorus or protein intake. (In specific cases of kidney failure, Ipakitine can be used as a dietary supplement to help slow renal failure; the dose of Ipakitine should always be determined under veterinary supervision.)

The diet’s main benefits include:

  • Promotes a neutral urine pH (6.7–7.5), which inhibits the formation of oxalate stones.
  • Low phosphorus content to slow the progression of kidney failure.
  • Supplemented with potassium to prevent hypokalaemia which can be triggered by diuretic treatments.
  • Reduced amount of nonessential amino acids, which translates into less production of nitrogenous waste.
  • With omega-3 fatty acids to combat glomerular hypertension.
  • Low sodium concentration to compensate for the kidney’s reduced capacity to eliminate it.
  • B-complex vitamins to counteract the increased loss of water-soluble vitamins through the kidneys.
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