Anaplasmosis is a tick borne disease that threatens the health of people, pets and other animals across many parts of the US. Here our Memphis emergency vets explain the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and how it can be treated.
Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Anaplasmosis is a disease caused the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria which is spread to people, pets and other animals through the bite of an infected tick. This potentially serious condition is seen in animals across the Midwestern states as well as along the West Coast and the Northeastern United States.
Anaplasmosis in Dogs Symptoms
Dogs that are otherwise healthy may experience no symptoms (asymptomatic) when infected with Anaplasmosis. That said, dogs that do experience symptoms of Anaplasmosis may display one or more of the following:
- Indications of pain
- High fever
- Reduced appetite
- Chronic diarrhea
- Bloody nose
- Joint pain
- Breathing difficulties
If your dog has any of the symptoms of Anaplasmosis listed above it's important to book an appointment with your vet. Left untreated this condition can cause serious health complications for your pooch including respiratory failure, organ failure, and bleeding issues. In some cases, Anaplasmosis can be life-threatening.
How Anaplasmosis is Diagnosed in Dogs
Because the symptoms of Anaplasmosis are also common to other conditions, diagnosis can be tricky. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your pet could have come in contact with infected ticks can help your veterinarian to accurately diagnose your pup's condition.
It's important to provide your veterinarian with as much information as possible regarding where your dog could have been in contact with infected ticks, the symptoms your pooch is displaying, and when the symptoms first appeared. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis will usually become apparent 2 - 4 weeks after the animal has been bitten by an infected tick.
If Anaplasmosis is a probable cause of your dog's symptoms your vet will perform a full physical examination to look for various signs of the condition, and any ticks that may still be latched on to your pooch. Your veterinarian may also run an antibody test to determine whether your dog tests positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum.
Anaplasmosis Treatment in Dogs
A course of antibiotics such as minocycline, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, or tetracycline is typically used to treat Anaplasmosis in dogs. Most dogs will show a noticeable improvement within 24- 48 hours of starting treatment with antibiotics.
Preventing Anaplasmosis in Your Dog
To help prevent your dog from contracting Anaplasmosis keep your pet on year-round tick prevention medications or treatments. However, 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 (such as long grass and brush), and be sure to check your dog daily for ticks so that they can be removed before transmission of the disease occurs.
If you discover a tick on your dog you will need to remove it properly. Contact your vet to learn how to remove ticks safely in order 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.