Anaplasmosis is just one of the many tick borne diseases that threaten the health of pets and other animals across the US. Here, our Memphis vets share the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and how this potentially serious condition is treated.
What is Anaplasmosis?
Anaplasmosis is a tick borne disease caused a bacteria called Anaplasma phagocytophilum which is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick deer tick, or brown dog tick. This potentially serious condition can be seen in pets across the US but higher rates of the disease are reported in the Midwest, West Coast and Northeast.
Anaplasmosis in Dogs - Symptoms
Many dogs with Anaplasmosis show no symptoms at all (asymptomatic), however when they do occur the most common symptoms are similar to those of a severe flu. If your dog has Anaplasmosis you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Lack of energy
- Signs of pain
- High fever
- Reduced of appetite
- Bloody nose
- Joint pain
- Ongoing diarrhea
- Difficulties breathing
It is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for an examination if your pup is showing any of the symptoms listed above. 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 fatal.
Diagnosing Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Diagnosing Anaplasmosis can be challenging because the symptoms of this condition are relatively 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 to accurately diagnose your dog's condition.
Give your veterinarian 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. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis will typically appear in dogs between 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.
If your dog's vet believes 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 pooch. Your vet may also run an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.
Treatment for Dogs with Anaplasmosis
Anaplasmosis in dogs is usually treated with a course of an antibiotic such as minocycline, doxycycline, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol. Most dogs show a noticeable improvement within 24- 48 hours after beginning the 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. You can also help your dog to avoid contracting tick borne diseases by keeping your pooch away from areas where ticks are most likely to be hiding (long grass and brush), and checking your dog daily for ticks so that they can be removed before transmission occurs.
If you find a tick on your dog be sure 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.
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