Anaplasmosis, an emerging disease, is surpassing Lyme disease is some areas of the country. Deer ticks transmit Anaplasmosis. Deer ticks carry bacteria, and when they bite your dog, spread infection.
The most common signs of infection are lack of energy, high fever, swollen and painful joints, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. If left untreated, Anaplasmosis can cause very low numbers of platelets and white blood cells, chronic joint pain, and occasionally neurologic signs.
Co-infection with Lyme disease and Anaplasmosis is possible. Both diseases are diagnosed with a very simple blood test that can be done in our clinic, with results in 10 minutes. Depending on initial findings and symptoms the doctor may recommend a complete blood count, chemistry profile, urinalysis, or other special tests.
If caught and treated early, the outcome is usually very good for a full recovery from symptoms. Some of these infections cannot be cured completely, but early intervention usually provides the best prognosis. Treatment involves giving your pet antibiotics, twice a day for a thirty-day period.
There isn’t a vaccine currently available to prevent Anaplasmosis. Daily “tick checks” and use of Frontline and other tick preventives is your best option for preventing this debilitating disease.
No prevention is 100% effective. Test your dog every year.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Watch for these types of diseases (symptoms for Lyme disease, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia are very similar), which may be hard to detect in the early stages.
- Ask for a simple screening test- it can be performed in just minutes during your visit. You’ll know immediately if your dog has been exposed to these diseases or if treatment is necessary.
- You know your dog better than anyone else. That’s why your role as the “watchdog” for these infections is critical. Call us any time you have questions.
- Begin your dog’s tick preventive, such as Frontline, early in the spring (March) and continue through late fall (November).