What is Anaplasmosis?
Anaplasmosis is a disease caused the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria which is spread by the bite of an infected tick. This potentially serious condition can be seen in pets across the US with higher rates of the disease are reported in the Midwest, West Coast and Northeast.
Anaplasmosis in Dogs Symptoms
It is relatively common for dogs infected with Anaplasmosis to show no symptoms at all (asymptomatic), however when symptoms do occur they are similar to those of a severe flu. If your pup is suffering from Anaplasmosis you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody nose
- Joint pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties
If your pup is showing any of the symptoms listed above a trip to the vet is called for. Left untreated Anaplasmosis can result in serious health complications for your dog including respiratory failure, organ failure, and bleeding issues. In very severe cases Anaplasmosis in dogs can be life-threatening.
Diagnosing Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Diagnosing Anaplasmosis can be challenging because the symptoms of this condition are typically vague and can indicate other common diseases in dogs. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your dog may have come in contact with infected ticks can help your vet to accurately diagnose your pup's condition.
Provide your vet with as much information as possible regarding where your dog may have been in contact with the ticks, the symptoms your dog is displaying, and when the symptoms first started to appear. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis generally become apparent 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.
If your vet suspects that your pup could be infected with Anaplasmosis they will perform a full physical exam to look for signs of the disease, and any ticks that may be living on your pup. Your vet may also run an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.
Anaplasmosis Treatment in Dogs
Anaplasmosis treatment in dogs is typically a course of an antibiotic such as minocycline, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, or tetracycline. Most dogs will show a noticeable improvement within 24- 48 hours of starting antibiotic treatment.
Preventing Anaplasmosis in Your Dog
One of the most reliable ways to help prevent Anaplasmosis in dogs is by keeping your pet on year-round tick prevention medications or treatments. That said, no tick prevention medication is 100% guaranteed to protect your dog against tick-borne diseases so diligence is required. Keep your dog away from areas where ticks are most likely to be hiding (long grass and brush), and be sure to check your dog daily for ticks so that they can be removed before transmission occurs.
If you find a tick on your dog you will need to remove it properly. Call your vet to learn how to remove ticks in a way that will help to avoid the spread of Anaplasmosis or other tick-borne diseases.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
If your dog has symptoms of anaplasmosis contact your Memphis vet at Southwind Animal Hospital today to schedule an examination for your pet. Our vets have experience in treating tick-borne illnesses in dogs.
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