What Every Dog Owner Needs To Know About Anaplasmosis: Dog Tick Disease


One of the joys of having an active dog is going on outdoor adventures with them. But while Fido runs through grass and weeds, they can pick up some hijackers called ticks. Bites from ticks that are infected with bacteria can transfer the bacteria to your dog.

This is how dogs get Lyme disease, but Lyme disease isn't the only tick-borne illness to worry about. Anaplasmosis is another tick-borne disease that can cause serious health risks for your four-legged companion. It's actually nicknamed dog tick fever. Here's what you need to know.


Symptoms of an infection include coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, difficulty breathing, weight loss, meningitis, bloody nose, joint pain, lameness, lack of muscle control, and seizures. More serious symptoms may become life-threatening, particularly in dogs that have pre-existing health conditions. If you notice any combination of these symptoms, immediately take your dog to a veterinary animal hospital for a thorough evaluation and treatment. Anaplasmosis can lead to organ failure and respiratory failure, so it's important to act quickly. 


Diagnosis of anaplasmosis involves several diagnostic blood tests, which will be done at the veterinary animal hospital. The tests are important to determine whether the dog has Lyme disease or anaplasmosis as the symptoms are very similar. However, anaplasmosis can be more serious and can result in death or cause lifelong problems to develop if left untreated. Diagnosis will also involve a complete physical exam to locate feeding marks from previous ticks and to discover any current ticks that may be currently feeding. Clearly, this examination may be lengthy, especially on larger dogs with thicker fur, and may require generalized anesthesia, depending on the pain level your dog is experiencing. 


Treatment for anaplasmosis involves antibiotics. Sometimes, antibiotics given intravenously during hospitalization are necessary for dogs that have developed worsening and serious symptoms since anaplasmosis can be life-threatening. It's important to retest your dog again and again after being treated to make sure the infection has cleared up. However, the antibody tests will continue to show as positive after the infection. 

It's important to note, however, that even though antibody tests may show positive for some time, your dog will still be susceptible to developing the disease again should it become infected again with a higher dose of bacteria from an infected tick. Due to this, it's important to treat your dog with a veterinarian-strength tick-bite prevention treatment before resuming adventures in the outdoors after your dog has recovered.

For more information, contact a veterinary animal hospital near you.


29 June 2022

Talking About Vet Services

Hello, I’m Manuel. I would like to discuss the various services offered by veterinarians. Animals are creatures that do not always clearly convey when they are sick or in pain. Regular vet visits can ensure your pets are not quietly suffering from a medical condition without showing signs of a problem. Vets check the pet’s vitals and check for subtle signs of a problem to determine if additional diagnostic tests are required. I will explore the diagnostic process vets use for each health condition or injury. My site will also cover information about common treatments used for pets. Please visit again soon.