What is Anaplasmosis?
Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria that is transmitted through the bites of infected ticks. This condition can be very serious and has been detected in pets throughout the US.
Dog Anaplasmosis Symptoms
In many cases, dogs with Anaplasmosis are asymptomatic, showing no symptoms at all, but when symptoms do arise, they can look similar to a serious case of the flu. If your dog has Anaplasmosis they may exhibit symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
- Bloody nose
- Joint pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties
How Vets Diagnose Anaplasmosis
It can be hard to diagnose Anaplasmosis because its symptoms are generally vague and can be signs of other common dog diseases. Knowing where your dog has been and if they may have been in contact with infected ticks, can help your vet accurately diagnose your pup's condition.
Give your vet as much information as you can, including where your dog might have been exposed to ticks, the symptoms your dog is experiencing, and when the symptoms first developed. A dog's symptoms usually start becoming visible about 2 to 4 weeks after they have been bitten by an infected tick.
If your vet thinks your pooch may have Anaplasmosis, they will complete a comprehensive physical exam to look for signs of the disease and any ticks that might be living on your dog. Your vet may also run an antibody test to see if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.
How Anaplasmosis in Dogs is Treated
Dogs are generally given an antibiotic such as minocycline, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, or tetracycline to treat their Anaplasmosis. Most pups will start showing signs of improvement in about 24 to 48 hours of starting antibiotic treatment.
How to Prevent Anaplasmosis in Dogs
Keeping your dog on tick prevention medications or treatments all year is the best thing you can do to help prevent Anaplasmosis. However, tick prevention medications aren't 100% guaranteed to protect your dog against tick-borne diseases, so it's imperative to be diligent. Keep your dog away from areas where ticks are likely to be hiding (long grass and brush), and be sure to check your dog daily for ticks so they can be removed before transmission occurs.
If you find a tick on your dog, you will have to remove it quickly. Your vet can tell you how you can remove ticks safely and prevent the transmission 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.