Monday, October 3, 2016

Pet Health; ANAPLASMOSIS, or Tick Fever In Dogs

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Anaplasmosis, also called "Tick Fever" or "Dog Fever" is a bacterial infection transmitted when an infected Deer Tick (Black Legged Tick) or Western Black Legged Tick bites your dog and feeds on his blood.  Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasma are all infections that can be carried by ticks and are classified as Tickborne Diseases.

Tickborne diseases in dogs such as Anaplasmosis
Anaplasmosis, also called Tick Fever or Dog Fever is transmitted by the Deer Tick (aka Black Legged Tick)
As an infected tick attaches and feeds on your dog's blood it transmits disease into your dog's system.  White tailed deer and small rodents are common carriers of Deer Ticks (Black Legged Ticks).  Both Lyme disease and anaplasmosis are commonly found in the same geographic locations and are transmitted by the same tick species.
Anaplasmosis, also called Tick Fever, or Dog Fever in dogs
Anaplasmosis and Lyme Disease are both transmitted by the same tick species
One of the scariest things about ticks and the diseases they carry is that a tick can carry more than one tickborne disease.  In addition, if a dog is bitten by multiple ticks he can be as risk for contracting more than one tickborne disease at the same time!


SYMPTOMS OF ANAPLASMOSIS:

> Common symptoms of anaplasmosis are Joint pain and stiffness in the legs often seen as lameness, or limping in dogs.  

> Other symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and fever.   

> Pale gums, vomiting, diarrhea,  nosebleeds, and dark stools (due to the presence of digested blood) may also be present.  

Most infected dogs will show symptoms for 1 to 7 days.


TWO TYPES OF BACTERIA CAUSE ANAPLASMOSIS:

* The most common bacteria, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, is transmitted through bites of the Deer Tick (Black Legged Tick) and the Western Black Legged Tick.  This is the bacteria that can cause the joint stiffness and limping symptoms of anaplasmosis.

* A lesser form of anaplasmosis is caused by the Anaplasma platys bacteria and is transmitted by the Brown Dog Tick.  This bacteria contributes to low levels of blood platelets, the small cellular components in blood that help clots to form.  Low platelets can impact proper blood clotting ability and lead to internal bleeding.  This can cause some dogs to develop bruising or nosebleeds.


Spring and Fall are peak seasons for Ticks and Tickborne diseases
Spring and Fall are peak seasons for Ticks in many parts of the U.S.
The dangers of contracting Anaplasmosis are highest in SPRING through FALL.  In fact, Fall is a peak time for ticks in many regions of the U.S., which many people don't expect. 

DIAGNOSIS:
Dogs with anaplasmosis often have many of the same symptoms as those with Lyme disease, and being infected with both is not uncommon.  Both a physical exam and a blood test can be done by your Veterinarian to test for Anaplasmosis and other tickborne diseases. 

TREATMENT:
There is no vaccine for Anaplasmosis.  It is treated with an antibiotic, usually Doxycycline for 30 days.  Dogs usually start showing improvement  in just a few days and prognosis for recovery is good.


Anaplasmosis is easily treated with antibiotics, but early treatment is key
Anaplasmosis, or Tick Fever in dogs is treated with antibiotics
HOW TO KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE FROM ANAPLASMOSIS AND OTHER TICKBORNE DISEASES:
Some Tick-borne diseases can be transmitted into your dog’s system in as little as 3 to 6 hours of a tick bite, but Anaplasmosis from Deer Ticks usually takes 48 hrs or more to infect a dog. Early diagnosis and treatment of tickborne diseases is very important.  If not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner Anaplasmosis can result in severe illness.   

Your best protection against  ticks and the diseases they carry is to use good tick control.  I use BRAVECTO, a long lasting flea and tick control medication, for my dogs.  If you find a tick on your dog, contact your Veterinarian right away.

CAN PEOPLE GET ANAPLASMOSIS FROM DOGS?
Humans can be infected with Anaplasmosis through tick bites as well.  Your dog cannot transmit Anaplasmosis to you, humans get it by being bitten by an infected tick.  According to several news reports, David Letterman contracted Anaplasmosis in 2009 from a tick bite while camping in the yard with his son.  

If your dog is diagnosed with Anaplasmosis, it means that ticks infected with Anaplasmosis are likely in the area.  People should be diligent about checking themselves for ticks after being outdoors and protecting themselves, as well as their dogs, against ticks.

SOURCES FOR THIS POST:
Drs Foster and Smith’s Pet Education.com
VCA Animal Hospitals
Canine Health Foundation
Dr. Patty Khuly for Embrace Pet Insurance
Merck Animal Health Technical Assistance 

Disclaimer:  I am not a Veterinarian or a Vet Tech, nor do I play one online!  I share information I have learned myself through various sources (which are notated), and based on my experiences with my own dogs.


Have you or your dog ever gotten a tickborne disease like Anaplasmosis or Lyme Disease?  Leave us a comment and tell us about it!






45 comments:

  1. We think Bailie had a tick born disease three weeks ago when she was extremely ill. She had all the symptoms plus dangerously low platelets but she didn't test positive for anything. Often times tests come back negative even if they have something. She had just started with Bravecto, didn't notice any ticks, but it was very scary.

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    1. I've heard that you can test negative & still be I'll, or that you can test positive & never become sick - in that case the dog is an accute carrier of the infection. Confusing stuff! I hope Bailie got some antibiotics just to be safe. I'm loving Bravecto for my dogs.

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  2. All these tick born illnesses really freak me out. My husband contracted Lyme Disease a few summers ago and was deathly ill for weeks -- lost 20 pounds in two weeks, very high fever, couldn't function at all. No one could figure it out because he hadn't been aware of being bitten by the tick. They tested him for all kinds of things and then finally for Lyme. They found it just within the timeframe when it is still treatable or it could have becoming potentially a chronic condition. I am super paranoid and careful about ALL of this stuff.

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    1. Wow that must have been terrifying for you! Ticks can be so dangerous with the diseases they carry. I'm so glad he got treated & is OK now.

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  3. That is so scary! We once had tiny ticks invade our property in the country. We both suffered some strange muscle problem from bites. Thank God we moved and haven't suffered from any other bites.

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    1. Oh wow, that's awful! Thank goodness you didn't get really ill & I'm glad you got OUT of there!

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  4. Thank you for sharing some very important information!

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    1. I'm glad I could pull together some useful info!

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  5. When I worked as a vet tech in Eastern Kentucky, we had a LOT of tick-borne illnesses including tick paralysis. Scary stuff. Here in N Texas, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and ehrlichiosis is a problem but not so much Lyme.

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    1. Yes, very scary stuff! It's so important to keep pets protected from Ticks & for people to check themselves after being outdoors.

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  6. Well that is scary! Glad it's a pretty "easy" fix and not a life sentence though. Phew!

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    1. Yes very scary. It's easy to treat if caught in the early stages.

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  7. Thank goodness my dog or I have never been bitten by a tick! The increase in tick bites and Lyme Disease seems to be on the increase and it's very scary.

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    1. I think incidents of Ticks & tick bites is increasing too. That's just my speculation from what I've experienced & what Friends tell me. My husband & my dog both got Ticks for the first time in their lives in just the last year!

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  8. What a very informative article. I had actually never heard of anaplasmosis before.

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful! I hadn't heard of it either until a few folks mentioned it in comments on one of my posts. I decided to research it & find out more, then share the info I found.

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  9. Thanks for the info although I have yet to see or hear of ticks in the parks that we frequent

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    1. I hope you & Layla never have to find out!

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  10. This is such an important article! I just moved into tick country and have been so paranoid! Great research!

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    1. Thanks! I'm so glad you find it valuable. I'm paranoid too now that both my husband & my dog got Ticks in the last year!

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  11. You go on some really fun adventures. Thanks for the great posts.

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    1. We do go on fun adventures, especially outdoor adventures. Along with that comes the risk of Ticks & fleas!

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  12. Now that I think about it, Mr. N was showing most of those symptoms but the vet didn't ask us about ticks. He didn't have any though and he gets groomed and inspected pretty often!

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    1. Sometimes a dog can remove a tick themselves by scratching or using their teeth. It might be worth a blood test to ensure Mr N. doesnt have a tickborne infection?

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  13. One of my dogs tested positive for Lyme Disease. I can't really tell if it has had any affect on her though. The weird thing was I found a tick on the other dog, but she tested negative. I wonder if they mixed up the blood tests, but the vet said no. Thankfully, they both seem pretty healthy. I have always tried to keep my pets protected against fleas and ticks, and am more vigilant now.

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    1. Tickborne illnesses can be confusing, they often have similar symptoms & symptoms can show up a lot later or not at all! Great tick prevention is the smartest thing you can do. I'm so diligent after finding a tick on Icy early this season!

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  14. I remember when people were first starting to hear about Lyme Disease in the 80s. Thankfully I have never had any interaction with ticks, nor have my animals. Thanks for the info!

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    1. You're so lucky not to have been exposed to these nasty tickborne diseases. It's great that you are aware in the event you need the information.

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  15. We use Wondercide to help protect our dogs from ticks! We also do tick checks regularly when we are out camping and always carry a tick kit!

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    1. It's so important to check both ourselves and our dogs after being in woodsy areas or simply areas with tall grasses.

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  16. Thank you for this informative post. I know too well about the repercussions about tick fever because i worked in a vet clinic for 7 years. Better safe than sorry protect your dog against ticks

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    1. I'm so glad you find it useful! Definitely better safe than sorry, so important to be aware.

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  17. I just bought Bravotec for my dogs. It's quite expensive for large dogs, but at least you're safe!!

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    1. I started both my dogs on Bravecto a few months ago as well, I love it! It's so easy and convenient and the dogs don't fuss, they think it's a treat!

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  18. We found a tick on one of my dogs recently, and I admit my first reaction was panic. In all these years, none of my dogs have ever had a tick so this was a surprise. Luckily a neighbour was with him, who had a tick remover. He has a Soresto collar which should protect against ticks but... Several weeks later the same dog became paralysed in his back legs. I thought it might have been tick paralysis, but it wasn't. It really is so important to keep checking our pets.

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    1. Gasp, oh the poor dog, that is so awful! Ticks can be nasty you really have to keep them SO well protected and you literally can't miss a day of flea & tick protection otherwise they can be exposed. Even a brief period of time can be a big risk. I hope the dog is ok?

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  19. I am terrified of bug borne diseases - ticks are the worst. My daughter picked up something weird a few years ago and was so sick for months. I have achey joints lately so I may get tested. Kilo has not been bitten as far as I know. May try Bravecto now.

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    1. I'm afraid of them too, Icy got a tick somehow recently - I must have missed a monthly dose or something, that's when I switched to Bravecto. I'm not messing around anymore, I need to hit those hateful ticks with both barrels! Your poor daughter, I hope she didn't suffer any lasting issues from that ordeal?

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  20. I had not known much about ticks until I began visitng dog blogs. UGH!!! these critters are so creepy and unpleasant! I am glad that this particular infection is treatable with antibiotics!!!!

    *shudder* They are so horrible I want to run away and avoid grass!!!!

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    1. I know, right!? They really are awful and can do some serious damage to our pets & to us. We just need to protect ourselves & our pets really well and check ourselves over after outdoor activities.

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  21. Ticks are so nasty! We have learned over the years that they can be much more prevalent in the fall. We have more of the brown dog ticks around here, so it's not good to hear that they can carry this disease as well. Since our summer has been so dry, we hope that means there won't be as many this fall, but we will not be complacent about it!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. They are so nasty, and can do so much damage. Spring all through Fall is usually the worst time but in warmer climates they can pose a risk all year.

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  22. Both Truffle and Brulee are treated on a monthly basis for fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

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    1. Excellent, I'm so happy to hear they're protected! Icy and Phoebe are on Bravecto now, so I feel confident that they are well protected.

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  23. My dog died a week and a half ago from anaplasmosis

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