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Anaplasmosis in Dogs: Signs and Treatments

Anaplasmosis in Dogs: Signs and Treatments

In Franklin and across the US, people, pets and farm animals are at risk from tick-borne diseases. Our veterinarians talk more about symptoms and treatment of anaplasmosis, which is spread by the black-legged deer tick.

What is anaplasmosis in dogs?

Anaplasmosis is caused by a bacteria called Anaplasma phagocytophilum which is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick deer tick (which is also responsible for the spread of Lyme disease), 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 dogs with anaplasmosis show no symptoms at all, the most common signs are similar to severe flu symptoms. If your dog has anaplasmosis you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:

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

If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms above, take them to the vet for an examination. If left untreated, Anaplasmosis can result in serious health complications for your dog including respiratory failure, organ failure, and bleeding problems. In very severe cases Anaplasmosis in dogs can even be fatal.

How Is Anaplasmosis Diagnosed in Dogs?

Because the symptoms of Anaplasmosis are somewhat vague, they can be associated with other illnesses and be a challenging condition to diagnose. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your dog may have come in contact with infected ticks can help your veterinarian to more accurately diagnose your dog's conditions.

If you give your veterinarian as much information as possible, including any suspected contact with ticks, any 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 veterinarian believes that your dog 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 pet. Your vet could also order an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.

How Is Anaplasmosis In Dogs Treated?

Antibiotics like Doxycycline, Minocycline, Tetracycline, or Chloramphenicol can be used to treat Anaplasmosis, and most dogs show improvement within 24- 48 hours after beginning the treatment.

Can I Prevent Anaplasmosis In My Dog?

A reliable way to help stop the development of Anaplasmosis in your dog is ensuring your dog is on year-round tick prevention medications. You can also help your dog to avoid contracting tick-borne diseases by keeping your pup away from areas where ticks are most likely to be hiding (long grass and brush), and checking your dog daily for ticks so that they can be removed before 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 concerned about your dog's health, get in touch with our caring Franklin vet team. We're here for animals in need and are ready to help your four-legged companions. 

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Advanced Veterinary Care is accepting new patients! Our friendly and experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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