All You Need To Know About Anaplasmosis In Dogs

By September 27 | See Comments

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We all know that ticks are dangerous because of the diseases they carry with them. For example, Lyme disease is one of the most common diseases spread by ticks all over the world. However, there is one more disease that can have a serious negative impact on the overall health of dogs.

What Is This Disease?

Western black-legged tick and deer tick have anaplasmosis phagocytophilum, which affects the canines’ white blood cells. Brown dog ticks are known to transmit anaplasma platys bacteria which infects their platelets. Canines living in certain regions of the United States such as mid-Atlantic region, southwestern states, upper Midwest, California, Gulf states, and northeastern states are more vulnerable to anaplasmosis.

How Do Dogs Get Anaplasmosis?

When ticks carrying these diseases bite dogs, they transmit anaplasmosis to their victims. However, it will take at least 24 hours or more for the infected ticks to pass the disease. Due to this waiting period, it is possible to eliminate ticks before they transmit the disease. On the other hand, there are cases where dogs get anaplasmosis even though their owners use tick preventives.

Symptoms Of Anaplasmosis

When dogs have anaplasmosis phagocytophilum, they will exhibit lethargy, loss of appetite, joint pain, fever, and lameness as symptoms. Anaplasmosis phagocytophilum will last approximately one to seven days. Sometimes, dogs will also show symptoms such as coughing, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting.When canines have anaplasmosis platys, they will suffer from bleeding, bruising and nosebleeds. Anaplasmosis platys will reduce the number of platelets periodically, which help in clotting.

Diagnosis

The vet will take a close look at the history of the canine’s health and perform a physical examination. To confirm the canine has anaplasmosis, the vet will ask the pet owner to take tests such as Indirect Fluorescent Antibody (IFA), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).

Treatment

To treat anaplasmosis, veterinarians will recommend pet owners to feed their canines an antibiotic called doxycycline. The outcome will be much better than usual when treatment begins at an early age. Canines will start showing improvement 24 – 48 hours after administration. Within 30 days, the antibiotics should eliminate anaplasmosis from our bodies. Even after successful treatment, there will be times when the blood test will be positive for anaplasmosis. However, it doesn’t mean that your canine is suffering from this disease.

Prevention

You can use over-the-counter and powerful tick preventives to keep them at bay. However, if you are living in an area that is populated by ticks, then you need to practice extreme caution. Always check your dog’s fur for ticks. Look in between the paws, behind the ears, and under the armpits for ticks.

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