Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi which is a zoonotic protozoan parasite. Once it enters the body, it multiplies and ruptures out into the blood circulation and spreading to other organs, mainly brain and heart. Chagas disease could be acute or chronic. The condition could remain asymptomatic for many months or even years however the parasite continues to develop within the body leading to the degeneration and inflammation of the heart eventually leading to heart failure and death.
Acute condition is typically seen in dogs younger than 2 and may present with diarrhea, depression, lethargy, exercise intolerance, walking difficulties, rapid body jerks, seizures, swollen lymph nodes, increased heart rate and congestive heart failure.
Chronic condition typically seen in older dogs may present with weakness, fainting, exercise intolerance, and increased heart rate.