Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that puts the health of pets and people at risk across the USA. Today, our Palmdale vets discuss anaplasmosis in dogs including signs, diagnosis, and treatment.
Anaplasmosis is caused by a bacteria called Anaplasma phagocytophilum which is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick deer tick (which is also responsible for the spread of Lyme disease), or brown dog tick.
This potentially serious condition can be found across the US but higher rates of the disease are reported in the Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast.
Signs of Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Although some dogs with anaplasmosis show no symptoms at all, the most common signs are similar to severe flu symptoms. If your dog has anaplasmosis, you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody nose
- Joint pain
- Breathing difficulties
The Severity of Anaplasmosis in Dogs
It's important that you take your dog to the vet for a physical exam if they are showing any of the symptoms listed above. Anaplasmosis is treatable but left untreated, can cause serious complications for your dog's health, including respiratory failure, bleeding issues, and organ problems.
In severe cases, anaplasmosis may even be fatal in our canine companions.
Diagnosing Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Diagnosing anaplasmosis can be tricky since the symptoms of this condition are somewhat vague and could be associated with a range of other diseases. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your dog may have come in contact with infected ticks can help your veterinarian with diagnosis.
Provide your veterinarian 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 began. The first symptoms of anaplasmosis will typically appear in dogs between 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.
If your veterinarian believes that your dog 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 pet. Your vet may also run an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.
Treatment for Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Anaplasmosis in dogs can be treated with a course of an antibiotic such as Doxycycline, Minocycline, Tetracycline, or Chloramphenicol. Most dogs show an improvement within 24-48 hours after beginning the antibiotic treatment.
Preventing Anaplasmosis in Dogs
The most reliable way to help to prevent anaplasmosis in our dogs is by keeping your pet on tick-prevention medication throughout the year. You can also help your dog to avoid contracting diseases carried by ticks by keeping them away from the kinds of areas where ticks thrive.
We also recommend checking your dog every day for ticks so they can be removed before any transmission occurs.
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.