born in Italy and bought over to the UK at 4 months old. Unfortunately, her
original family was unable to keep due to personal circumstances and she
entered the rescue at end of January 2020. Isla entered the rescue with
scarring to her nose that her original owners had had no success in treating. It
was decided to run a series of tests which eventually included testing for a
condition called Leishmaniasis after a suggestion from one of the committee
members, Sarah Connatty, who’s friend had experience of the disease.
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease caused by a Sandfly bite whilst Isla was
still in Italy. Isla tested positive and so research began as to how best treat
the disease. This came in the form of advice from Jane Moore who lives in Italy
with her beautiful Cirneco’s, a fantastic facebook page called Living with
Leish and my vets who had treated the disease in the past but were also willing
to learn to help treat Isla.
Isla came to us when Debbie from the Cirneco rescue called to ask if I could take care of her for a couple of days at the beginning of March 2020, until she could find somewhere for her to go, initially I said I couldn’t as I have 3 intact male Whippets. It was my husband Matt who said “I’ll look after her" as he had already been told to work from home as a precaution against the spread of covid 19. As soon as Isla made it through the door two things happened, after 5 days with us we went straight into lockdown, so she was going nowhere fast and second her and Matt became inseparable.
We started her Leish treatment in the April, which is actually controlled by human gout medication, Allopurinol, which basically stops the spread of the parasite in her blood and lowers the parasitic levels. Initially Isla needed blood tests 6 months apart to monitor her Leish levels, her second and most recent test in February has showed her Leish as negative. If this remains the same in her third blood test due in August 21, Isla can be weaned off of her medication and special diet and will hopefully go on to lead a happy and healthy life with us.
Isla is such a loving little girl, keen to please and watch over you all the time. Unlike my boys who do like a cuddle in the evening, but are also quite happy to spend time by themselves....mostly asleep!! She is constantly on the go, and always seems to be on a mission, with my Whippets just watching as she runs past them for the hundredth time. Isla has been with us over a year now and is slowly relaxing into our family life although I don’t think she will ever achieve a whippet level of relaxation. We are looking forward now to being able to socialise her more with other dogs, which is the one thing we have lacked over the past few months. It goes without saying Isla transformed our lockdown experience and we have learnt a lot about living with Leishmaniasis which will continued to be monitored for the rest of her life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Cirneco rescue for all their support both financially and emotionally during our rescue experience and I think it is safe to say we have both learnt a lot from Isla and her medical circumstances.