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Rare parasitic disease kills 21 dogs, sickens 20 in N.Y.

SHARE Rare parasitic disease kills 21 dogs, sickens 20 in N.Y.

MILLBROOK, N.Y. (AP) — A parasitic disease rarely found in this country has killed 21 foxhounds and has sickened at least 20 others, The New York Times said Friday.

One after another, the hounds at Millbrook Hunt in Dutchess County became lethargic. Losing weight and patches of hair, the dogs developed enlarged joints, crusty skin lesions and rope-like knots underneath their skin.

The culprit was identified this spring by researchers at North Carolina State University as a strain of leishmaniasis, typically found in warm, coastal areas like Brazil, the Mediterranean, India and the Sudan.

Normally transmitted by sand flies, the disease has killed humans in other countries but has rarely been diagnosed in the United States.