eight dogs from maricá municipality (rj), with suggestive lesion of american tegumentary leishmaniasis were studied by parasitological and serological methods. leishmania spp was found in six dogs by in vitro cultivation. specific antibodies were detected in six dogs by elisa and in two by indirect immunofluorescence. five canine isolates were found to belong to the same zymodeme as leishmania (viannia) braziliensis. the authors suggest that clinically suspect dogs should be followed-up in an attempt to confirm the diagnostic of canine tegumentary leishmaniasis.