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What is anaplasmosis in dogs, and what are the symptoms?

Tick-borne diseases pose a serious health risk for dogs all across the country. Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that, if left untreated, can be fatal for some dogs. Today our Orange County vets share some of the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and how this condition is treated.

Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Caused by a bacteria called Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasmosis is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick deer tick or brown dog tick. Cases of anaplasmosis in dogs can be found across the US, but higher rates of the disease are reported in the Midwest, Northeast and West Coast.

Symptoms of Anaplasmosis to Watch For

Many dogs with anaplasmosis show no symptoms, but when symptoms are evident they often appear flu-like. Dogs suffering from anaplasmosis can display any of the following signs:

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

Anaplasmosis Health Risks for Dogs

If your pup is displaying any of the symptoms listed above, it's time to head to your vet. Left untreated Anaplasmosis could result in some very serious health complications for your pup including bleeding problems, respiratory failure, or even organ failure. Severe cases of Anaplasmosis can be fatal for dogs.

Diagnosing Dogs with Anaplasmosis

Ananplasmosis can be tricky to diagnose since the symptoms are somewhat vague and could be associated with a variety of other diseases.

Knowing if your dog has been in areas where infected ticks might lurk, can help your veterinarian to form an accurate diagnosis. Be sure to 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 started.

Symptoms of Anaplasmosis typically appear in dogs 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.

If your pup is suspected of having Anaplasmosis, your vet 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 look for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria. 

Treatment of Anaplasmosis

Treatment for dogs with anaplasmosis typically consists of a course of an antibiotic such as Doxycycline, Minocycline, Tetracycline, or Chloramphenicol. Many pets show an improvement within 24- 48 hours after beginning their antibiotic treatment.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Catching Anaplasmosis

Keeping your dog on tick prevention meds year-round can help to protect your pup against a host of different tick-borne diseases. It's also a good idea to keep your pet away from areas where ticks are most likely to be lurking (long grass and brush). Check your dog daily for ticks so that they can be removed before disease transmission occurs. Contact your vet to learn how to remove ticks properly from your dog.

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 pup suffering from a severe case of anaplasmosis? Speak to your vet about a referral for your dog to be seen by our Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist. Our veterinary specialists and critical care vets work with your primary care vet to provide your dog with the best possible care. Contact us to find out more.

New Patients Welcome

Veterinary Medical And Surgical Group–OC (VMSG-OC) accepts new clients to our specialty services and 24/7 emergency services.

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Contact (949) 201-4100