Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a cosmopolitan parasitic zoonosis that can promote myocarditis and heart rate changes in canine and human hosts. Thus, histopathological aspects of the myocardium and clinical, hematological, biochemical, radiological and electrocardiographic data were evaluated in a group of 36 dogs naturally infected with VL (VLG) and compared to data from 15 non-infected dogs (CG=Control Group). A prevalence of asymptomatic dogs was present in the CG (100%) and polysymptomatic dogs in the VLG (66%). In addition, two dogs in the VLG demonstrated systolic murmurs in the mitral valve region: one with a II/VI intensity and the other with a III/VI intensity. The mean values of RBC, hemoglobin and hematocrit were lower in dogs in VLG and were associated with higher values of total protein, total leukocytes, neutrophils, creatine kinase overall (CK) and the CK-MB fraction (CK-MB). The absence of radiographic changes was accompanied by a predominance of respiratory sinus arrhythmia associated with episodes of migratory pacemaker and sinus arrest in dogs in VLG (75%), sinus rhythm in dogs in CG (60%) and decreased P wave amplitude in VLG electrocardiography. Mononuclear cell infiltration was detected in the myocardium of 77,8% of dogs in GVL and classified primarily as mild multifocal lymphohistioplasmacytic. Amastigotes were detected in only one dog, which did not allow the association between myocarditis and parasitism, although the myocardial lesions that were found constitute irrefutable evidence of myocarditis in the VLG dogs, accompanied by lenient electrocardiographic changes compared to CG.
Electrocardiography; Leishmania sp.; visceral leishmaniasis; dogs