Ticks are responsible for spreading a range of diseases that can threaten the health of humans, dogs, and other animals in the United States, and Anaplasmosis is one of them. Here, our Novato vets talk about the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and the treatment options available.
What is Anaplasmosis in Dogs?
Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria and spreads through bites from infected ticks. This condition has the potential to be very serious and can be seen in pets across the US, with higher rates of the disease being reported in the Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast.
Signs & Symptoms of Anaplasmosis in Dogs
It's fairly common for dogs with Anaplasmosis to be asymptomatic (show no symptoms at all). However, when symptoms do arise they can look like a severe flu. If your dog is suffering from Anaplasmosis, they could exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Bloody nose
- Joint pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties
How Dogs With Anaplasmosis Are Diagnosed
It's challenging to diagnose Anaplasmosis in dogs because the symptoms of this disease are generally vague and can indicate other common canine illnesses. Knowing where your dog has been and if they may have come into contact with infected ticks, can help your vet diagnose your pup's condition.
Give your vet as many details as possible, including where your dog may have come into contact with ticks, the symptoms your dog is displaying, and when they first started to develop symptoms. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis generally start arising 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.
If your vet suspects your dog may have Anaplasmosis, they will perform a complete physical examination to look for signs of the disease and any ticks that may be living on your pup. Your vet may also conduct an antibody test to see if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.
Treatments For Dogs With Anaplasmosis
Anaplasmosis in dogs requires treatment, which will generally include 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 their antibiotic treatment.
How To Prevent Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Keeping your dog on tick prevention medications or treatments all year is one of the best ways to help prevent Anaplasmosis. 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 remember to check your dog for ticks every day so they can be removed before transmission occurs.
If you find a tick on your dog, you will have to remove it quickly. Contact your vet to learn how you can remove ticks safely and in a way that will help prevent the spread of Anaplasmosis and 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.