Anaplasmosis Symptoms in Dogs & How This Disease is Treated

Anaplasmosis is one of the many tick borne diseases that threaten the health of people, pets and other animals across the United States. Today our Bartlett vets explain the symptoms and treatments for Anaplasmosis in dogs.

Anaplasmosis in Dogs

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

Symptoms of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

It is relatively common for dogs infected with Anaplasmosis to be asymptomatic and show no symptoms at all. That said, when symptoms do occur they tend to be similar to those of a severe flu. If your pooch is suffering from Anaplasmosis you may notice some of the following symptoms:

  • 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 above symptoms a trip to the vet is essential! 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 can be life-threatening for dogs.

How Anaplasmosis Is Diagnosed in Dogs

Diagnosing Anaplasmosis can be challenging because the symptoms of this condition are generally vague and can point to other common diseases in dogs. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your pup may have come in contact with infected ticks can help your veterinarian to accurately diagnose your dog'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 began. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis begin appearing about 2 - 4 weeks after the dog was bitten by the infected tick.

If your veterinarian 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

Treatment for Anaplasmosis is usually 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.

Protecting Your Dog Against Anaplasmosis

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.

Nonetheless, 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 remove it safely. 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 dog showing signs of anaplasmosis? Contact our Bartlett vets right away to book an examination for your canine companion. Our vets have experience in the diagnosis and treatment of tick borne diseases in dogs. 

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