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Tick Borne Diseases - Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Anaplasmosis is one of the many tick borne diseases that threaten the health of people, pets and other animals across the US. In today's post our Davidson County vets explain the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and how this condition can be treated.


What is Anaplasmosis in dogs?

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria which is spread by the bite of infected ticks. This potentially serious condition can be seen in dogs across the United States with the highest rates of the disease being reported in the Midwest, West Coast and Northeast.

Is there such thing as asymptomatic anaplasmosis in dogs?

It is fairly common for dogs infected with Anaplasmosis to show no symptoms at all (asymptomatic), however when symptoms do appear they are similar to those of severe flu. If your pooch is infected with Anaplasmosis you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Lack of energy
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody nose
  • Lameness
  • Joint pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Meningitis
  • Ataxia
  • Chills

If your dog is showing any of the symptoms listed above a trip to the vet is essential. Untreated Anaplasmosis can lead to serious health complications for your pup including respiratory failure, organ failure, and bleeding issues. In very severe cases Anaplasmosis can be life-threatening for dogs.

How is Anaplasmosis in dogs diagnosed?

Diagnosing Anaplasmosis can be challenging because the symptoms of this condition are generally vague and can point to other common diseases in dogs. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your pooch could have come in contact with infected ticks can help your veterinarian to accurately diagnose your pup's condition.

Be sure to provide your vet with as much information as possible regarding where your pup may have been in contact with the ticks, the symptoms your pet 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 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 dog. Your vet may also run an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria. 

What is the treatment for dogs with Anaplasmosis?

Anaplasmosis treatment in dogs is usually a simple course of antibiotics such as minocycline, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, or tetracycline. Most dogs will show a noticeable improvement as soon as 24- 48 hours of starting antibiotic treatment.

How can I prevent my dog from getting Anaplasmosis?

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.

Try to 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.

Do you think that your dog could have Anaplasmosis? Contact us today to book an examination for your pup.

Anaplasmosis in dogs symptoms, treatment and prognosis in dogs, Thomasville Vet

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