The efficacy of tests with L. (L.) infantum excreted-secreted antigens (ESA) to detect canine leishmaniasis (CanL) was evaluated using immunoblotting (ESA-blot), ELISA (ESA-ELISA) and ELISA with alkaline extract from promastigotes (PAE). Of one hundred fifty-five domestic dogs tested, 100 were suspected of CanL, 23 had other diseases and 32 were healthy. Sera from the dogs suspected of CanL were tested by immunohistochemistry (IHC), and 54% were confirmed to be infected by L. (L.) infantum (38 symptomatic and 16 asymptomatic). Of these, 100% were positive by ESA-blot, ESA-ELISA and PAE-ELISA. In the ESA-blot their sera recognized polypeptides in the 26.5-31.5 kDa region. Of the 46% of dogs with negative IHC, 44-53% tested positive in all three tests irrespective of clinical status. The twenty-three dogs with other diseases were negative by ESA-blot, but sera from 9% and 26% of them reacted with ESA-ELISA and PAE-ELISA, respectively. The 32 healthy dogs were negative in all the tests. ESA-blot showed good correlation with IHC in the detection of CanL and a high specificity index.