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Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Tick-borne diseases pose serious health risks for people, pets, and farm animals across the U.S. Spread by the black-legged deer tick, Anaplasmosis is one such tick-borne disease in dogs. Today our Port Jefferson vets share the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and how this potentially serious condition is treated.

What is anaplasmosis in dogs?

Black-legged ticks, deer ticks (which are also responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease), and brown dog ticks are all vectors for the transmission of the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum, which is the causative agent of anaplasmosis. In spite of the fact that this potentially lethal condition can be found all over the United States, the Midwest, the West Coast, and the Northeast have been reported to have higher rates of the disease.

What are the symptoms of anaplasmosis?

Although some dogs with anaplasmosis are asymptomatic, 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:

  • Lethargy
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bloody nose
  • Lameness
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Meningitis
  • Ataxia
  • Chills

Does anaplasmosis go away in dogs?

It is important to take your dog to the vet for an examination if they are showing any of the symptoms listed above. Undiagnosed Anaplasmosis in dogs can result in serious health complications for your dog. Long-term effects of anaplasmosis in dogs include respiratory failure, organ failure, and bleeding problems. In very severe cases Anaplasmosis in dogs can be fatal.

How is Anaplasmosis diagnosed in dogs?

Due to the fact that the symptoms of anaplasmosis are not entirely clear and could be associated with a wide variety of other diseases, correctly diagnosing this condition can be a challenging endeavor. When it comes to diagnosis, it is helpful for your veterinarian to have information about where your dog has been and whether or not your dog may have come into contact with infected ticks.

It is important that you provide your veterinarian with as much information as possible regarding the symptoms that your dog is experiencing, the location where your dog may have come into contact with ticks, and the time when the symptoms first appeared. After being bitten by an infected tick, the first symptoms of anaplasmosis in dogs typically manifest themselves between two and four weeks later.

In the event that your veterinarian has reason to believe that your dog may be infected with anaplasmosis, they will conduct a comprehensive physical examination to search for any indications of the disease as well as any ticks that may be living on your pet. To determine whether or not your dog has a positive test for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria, your veterinarian may also perform an antibody test. 

What is the treatment for Anaplasmosis in dogs?

When treating canine anaplasmosis, it is possible to make use of an antibiotic like doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline, or chloramphenicol. After beginning antibiotic treatment, the majority of dogs show signs of improvement within twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

Can I prevent my dog from developing Anaplasmosis?

One of the most effective ways to help prevent anaplasmosis in dogs is to ensure that your dog is always taking medication that prevents ticks throughout the entire year. It is also possible to assist your dog in avoiding diseases that are transmitted by ticks by preventing him from coming into contact with areas where ticks are most likely to hide (such as long grass and brush), and by checking your dog for ticks on a daily basis so that they can be removed before they can transmit the disease.

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.

If suspect your dog may have Anaplasmosis, contact our Port Jefferson vets right away. Anaplasmosis is a potentially life-threatening illness.

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