Monday, August 6, 2012

Canileish: The Sandfly Vaccine

After both of our dogs had an allergic reaction to the Scalibor flea collar (skin irritation, itching, bleeding, and swelling in the ears and neck) we decided it was time to bite the bullet and have our dogs vaccinated against Leishmaniasis, also known as sandfly disease.

We arranged a visit with our vet for the first part of the process: a Leishmaniasis blood test. Blood was drawn from the leg, and placed on a little tab that looks like a human pregnancy test. We waited 30 minutes for the results: only one pink line! Negative!

Then our pups got their first Canileish injection in the scruff of the neck. Our vet advised us that the dogs may be lethargic, lose their appetite, and have some muscle soreness as part of the Canileish side effects. Ellie was fine; Winnie was crying and sore for days. So let's call it a coin toss.

We returned last week for a second injection. Again, Winnie was quite sore, crying, limping, and developed a large swollen area where she had the injection that lasted several days. Ellie was also more sore with the second injection.

The last injection (the full vaccine is a set of three) is given in a month's time. After that it's just an annual booster shot every year, and regular application of anti-flea drops. Between the vaccine (with a protection rate of 70-80%) and the drops we hope our dogs will now be well protected from Leishmaniasis.

€1.50 per blood test
€40 per injection
€18.50 for a 6 month supply of flea drops for one small dog

Has your dog been vaccinated? What methods do you use to protect your dog against Leishmaniasis? It's not only present in Malta, but in all of the southern Mediterranean.

- Jess

p.s. we've been receiving great feedback and really touching stories on our original Dangers of Sandfly in Malta post.


  1. Hello,
    I've come across your blog by accident, looking for feedback on the sandfly vaccine introduced into the UK last year. We have a 2 year old mini smooth Daschund called Louis and used the Scalibor collar when we visited the south of France last year. He seemed ok with the collar, but I am always worried about him still getting the disease. Your post is nearly one year old, so I was wondering how your daxie's are doing now.

    Kind regards

    Melanie & Louis (the daxie currently on my knee) from Leeds, UK

    1. Hello Melanie & Louis!

      I'm happy to let you know our pups are doing well. They've had two rounds of Canileish so far, and are due for their third this year. They haven't had any long term adverse reactions from the vaccine, and so far we're all sandfly free :)


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