Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Tick-borne diseases can pose a quite serious health risk for people and their pets across the United States. Spread by western black-legged deer ticks, Anaplasmosis is one of these diseases. Here, our Ventura vets share the symptoms of this disease in dogs and how it can be treated. 

What is anaplasmosis in dogs?

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria, which is spread by the bite of an infected western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) or brown dog tick. This potentially serious condition can be found across the US but higher rates of the disease are reported in the Midwest, West Coast and Northeast.

What are the symptoms of anaplasmosis?

Although some pups suffering from anaplasmosis may show no symptoms at all, the most common signs of this disease are quite similar to flu symptoms. If your dog has anaplasmosis, you may notice any of the following symptoms:

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

Does anaplasmosis go away in dogs?

It's important that you take your dog to the vet for an exam if they are showing any of the symptoms listed above.

Anaplasmosis, if left untreated, can cause serious complications for your dog's health, including respiratory failure, bleeding issues and organ problems. In severe cases, anaplasmosis may even be fatal in our canine companions. 

How is Anaplasmosis diagnosed in dogs?

Diagnosing anaplasmosis can be quite tricky. The symptoms of this condition are a bit vague and could be associated with a range of other diseases. Knowing where your dog has been and whether it's likely that they came into contact with ticks will be very helpful for your vet in diagnosing your pup.

Provide your veterinarian 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 began. The first symptoms of Anaplasmosis will typically appear in dogs between 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.

If your vet thinks that your dog may be infected with anaplasmosis, they will conduct a comprehensive physical examination to look for any signs of the disease as well as of any ticks that may be living on your pet. Your vet may also run an antibody test of your dog's blood to determine if they test positive for the bacteria causing this illness. 

What is the treatment for Anaplasmosis in dogs?

Anaplasmosis in dogs can be treated with a course of an antibiotic such as Doxycycline, Minocycline, Tetracycline, or Chloramphenicol. Most dogs show an improvement within 24- 48 hours after beginning the antibiotic treatment.

Can I prevent my dog from developing Anaplasmosis?

The most reliable way to help to prevent anaplasmosis in our dogs is by keeping them on tick prevention medication all throughout the year. You can also help your dgo to avoid contracting diseases carried by ticks by keeping them away from the kinds of areas where ticks thrive.

You can also check your dog every day for ticks so they can be removed before any transmission occurs. 

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 you are worried about the health of your dog and think they may have come into contact with ticks recently, contact our Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG) veterinary team today. Our vets are able to diagnose and treat a wide range fo tick-borne diseases, including anaplasmosis. 

Anaplasmosis in Dogs | Ventura Animal Hospital

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