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What is anaplasmosis in dogs?

What is anaplasmosis in dogs?

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that threatens the health of people, pets and other animals in many areas across the US. Today our Winston-Salem vets explain the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and how this condition can be treated.

Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria which is spread by the bite of an infected tick. This condition is potentially serious and can be seen in pets across the US - with higher rates of the disease reported in the Midwest, West Coast and Northeast.

Anaplasmosis in Dogs Symptoms

Asymptomatic Anaplasmosis in dogs is fairly common, meaning that your pup could be infected but showing no signs of the disease. That said when symptoms do occur they are similar to those of a severe flu. If your pooch is suffering from Anaplasmosis you may spot some of the following signs:

  • 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 pup is showing any of the symptoms listed above contact your vet to book an appointment. Left 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 life-threatening.

Diagnosing Anaplasmosis in Dogs

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

Provide your vet 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 started to appear. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis generally become apparent 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.

If your vet suspects 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 pup. Your vet may also run an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria. 

Anaplasmosis Treatment in Dogs

Anaplasmosis treatment in dogs is typically a course of an antibiotic such as minocycline, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, or tetracycline. Most dogs will show a noticeable improvement within 24- 48 hours of starting 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. That said, no tick prevention medication is 100% guaranteed to protect your dog against tick-borne diseases so diligence is required. 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.

Is your canine companion showing severe signs of Anaplasmosis? Visit our 24/7 animal emergency center in Winston-Salem right away! Our vets have experience diagnosing and treating many tick diseases in dogs including Anaplasmosis. 

Caring for Winston-Salem Pets

At Carolina Veterinary Specialists, we accept new clients to our specialty services by referral only. Our 24/7 emergency service welcomes all clients.

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