Anaplasmosis in dogs: symptoms and treatment methods

Anaplasmosis in dogs or infectious thrombocytopenia is a disease of bacterial origin. Its causative agents are microorganisms that affect the platelets of the animal, which are responsible for blood coagulation. This pathology is transmitted not only to dogs, but also to other animals, and insects are carriers of infection.


Stages of the disease and symptoms

Anaplasmosis in dogs

Anaplasmosis is transmitted through tick bites - a black-footed tick can infect the most severe form of the disease, while a disease obtained from a brown brown tick has less complex consequences. Due to the mode of transmission, outbreaks of infection are seasonal - in spring and autumn.

There are three stages of anaplasmosis in dogs, and each differs in duration and symptoms:

  1. First stage. It is acute and occurs within 21 days after being bitten by a tick. Penetrating into the body, pathogenic bacteria choose erythrocytes as the localization site, and less commonly, white blood cells and platelets populate. When intensive reproduction of the anaplasma occurs, the dog’s immune mechanisms trigger and destroy the affected cells. The main symptom of this action is an acute form of anemia. Among other signs, the following can be noted:
  • the dog has an increase in lymph nodes;
  • mucous membranes turn yellow;
  • the pet has difficulty breathing;
  • blood circulation processes are disturbed;
  • all this is accompanied by an increase in temperature .

Microscopic examination of the blood shows who the blood cells have changed in size, there is polychromasia and a violation in the activity of red blood cells. This period, although accompanied by many unpleasant conditions, is still not life threatening for the dog. Most of the diseased animals are cured precisely in this stage, but sometimes the ailment nevertheless passes into a more serious subclinical form.

  1. Second stage. At this stage, the animal looks quite healthy. Pathogenic bacteria are located inside the cells of the spleen, and diagnostic examination often reveals an increase in this organ - splenomegaly. This stage is protracted and can last from a couple of months to several years. It is difficult to identify anaplasmosis in this form, for this, first of all, a blood test is necessary. As a result, the presence of thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), as well as an increased number of globulins, will be indicated.
  2. Third stage. This stage signals that the disease has become chronic. Thrombocytopenia develops so that most of the affected dogs develop severe bleeding. Among the main signs, multiple hematomas appear on the body, blood appears in urine, and very often the blood goes through the nose.

Naturally, it is important, as early as possible, to identify the disease and diagnosis will help to recognize it.

Diagnosis of anaplasmosis in dogs

This disease refers to those ailments that are extremely difficult to diagnose only by assessing the clinical picture and external signs. If the veterinarian has even the slightest doubt about the accuracy of the diagnosis, a number of procedures are prescribed. Effective results in the case of anaplasmosis can be obtained by passing an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (briefly - ELISA) and evaluating the PCR - polymerase chain reaction.

At the peak of the development of the disease, it will not be difficult for a professional to examine the causative agents of the disease through a microscope. Only comprehensive diagnostic measures can help determine what caused the disease. But even here mistakes are possible, because by means of ticks another infection is transmitted that resembles anaplasmosis in dogs - pyroplasmosis. Even the above methods do not always distinguish what kind of illness the dog has.

Differential diagnosis in this case consists in assessing the response of the animal to the prescribed treatment. If the dog does not feel better during therapy against pyroplasmosis, then treatment against anaplasma is used.

Often, dogs become infected simultaneously with two types of bacterial infection, and then therapy is applied immediately from two pathogens.

Dog treatment for anaplasmosis

Dog treatment for anaplasmosis

Therapy of anaplasmosis, as well as with similar infections transmitted by a tick (for example, tick-borne barreliosis, ehrlichiosis), consists in taking the antibiotic Doxycycline. Many infected pets undergo a monthly course of this remedy.

If the treatment of anaplasmosis in a dog is prescribed in a timely manner, then the pet gets rid of unpleasant symptoms in the first day, less often two days after the start of taking the antibiotic. In this case, veterinarians give very positive forecasts for the further state of the animal.

But even with a significant improvement in the clinical picture, there are certain difficulties in figuring out whether there is an infection in the body or not, are present. If the dog no longer produces antibodies against β-staphylococci, then there are no pathogenic bacteria left in the body.

It will not work out with a blood test, because even in the event of a complete recovery, it can give positive results. It is precisely because of such uncertainty that doctors often secure themselves and prescribe a second course of drugs so that the analysis gives a negative answer.

Preventive actions against anaplasmosis

Naturally, each owner of the dog wants, as far as possible, to protect his pet from such unpleasant diseases. How can this be done?

Immediately it is worth clarifying that a preventive vaccine against anaplasmosis in dogs does not exist. Therefore, it is necessary to resort to other methods. For these purposes, long-acting products with repellent properties that repel insects, including ticks, are used. By the way, they are well tolerated by animals. You can purchase special drops soaked in collar substances. Modern tools can not only scare off, but also destroy the tick.

Recommendations of specialists and features of the disease

Can a person get infected with anaplasmosis from a pet

Experienced breeders and veterinarians can give some useful tips that newbie breeders should consider:

  • No need to wait for the tick season, it is better to treat the pet with special tools two to three weeks before it. Also, do not forget to repeat these manipulations from time to time. On the timing of re-processing there is information on the preparations themselves and the products.
  • After walking, it is necessary to examine the dog for the presence of insects on the skin and in the hair, and quick detection of the tick significantly reduces the risk of complications. In general, the tick does not immediately attach to the skin and infection occurs, it is long enough - 12-16 hours can only get to the site of the bite.
  • It is possible to remove a biting insect, with a certain dexterity, at home, using a special device in the form of a hook for these purposes. But if there is no experience, it is better to seek help at a veterinary clinic. Sometimes timely assistance can not only save the dog from the troubles of the disease, but also save a life.

Doctors warn that ticks are carriers of many diseases, and one such small insect can infect a pet with several infections at once. Naturally, if anaplasmosis will occur with ehrlichiosis or another similar ailment, and not one, then the prognosis may be disappointing.

The risks of infection increase during walks in areas with high vegetation, grass and shrubs are a favorite place for ticks.

Can a person get anaplasmosis from his pet

Of course, the question is very important, because dogs most often live at home, contact with children. Studies have shown that anaplasma can penetrate into the human body and develop there. However, there is not a single recorded case of the transfer of this bacterium from an animal to a person, and infection between animals has not been recorded anywhere. Specialists, of course, do not exclude such a possibility, but consider this option unlikely.

It is worth noting that the presence of ticks in a dog is a signal that it is unsafe in the environment, including for humans. In this case, measures are usually taken to eliminate the threat by treating the vegetation with acaricidal agents. Such events are required for health facilities, leisure parks, open-air museums.

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