Someone asked me to start a thread on chagas meds. Here goes:
Chagas disease is an insect-borne parasitic disease caused by Trypanosoma cruzi. The vector is the cone-nosed bug or kissing bug. It can be transmitted by a bug defecating in a bite wound, from eating the bug, from contaminated food, blood transfusion or eating an infected animal. It causes more deaths than any other parasitic disease in the americas. Chagas ruins organs, especially the heart. Younger, seemingly healthy dogs with chagas may just drop dead of heart failure. Older dogs may faint when active.
Treatment for canines is Itraconazol and amiodarone. (There is a better medication for humans but the cdc dispenses it only to humans.
Itraconazol is very expensive in the U.S. and most dogs that contract the disease are put down. However, generic forms of the meds may be purchased in Mexico for considerably less. Meds for a 13 month treatment for a 50 lb dog for chagas cost around $400 in Mexico. Several chagas tests and liver function tests will ad to the cost of treatment.
For best outcome one needs to test for chagas before symptoms are seen. That means if you observe the bugs in the vicinity of kennels or dogs you should test.
A million people in Mexico are thought to be infected-- about 2 million in Brazil and 1.5 million in Argentine. About 300,00 in the U.S. Any latin american country with lowlands is thought have chagas victims.
You can find more info, plus pictures of the bug that carries the protozoa here: