The introduction of PCR has efficiently improved diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis. In order to provide a robust, efficient and reliable diagnostic method, a duplex PCR assay targeting the Leishmania infantum kDNA minicircle and the canine GAPDH gene as inner control was designed. Sensitivity of the assay reached 0.15 parasites/ml blood. Development, testing and application of this system on a group of 10 dogs during therapy administration (60 days) are also described. Six dogs (out of eight that have been showing a positive PCR result on peripheral blood during the study) were tested negative at day 62, indicating a reduction of parasitaemia at the end of the treatment period. All the animals had a positive PCR on lymph node aspirate both at the beginning and at the end of treatment. These findings seem to suggest that, in order to test therapy efficacy, PCR on whole blood could be a useful assay in dogs that have a positive PCR at the beginning of the treatment, while PCR positivity on lymph nodes lasts longer than the observation period during therapy administration. The presence of the GAPDH inner control band efficiently contributed to prevent false negatives, by highlighting samples affected by haemoglobin inhibition or inappropriate DNA isolation.