My dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis? What exactly is it?
Anaplasmosis can be described as a tick-borne infection caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted via bites from the ticks of the deer (also called the tick with black legs) as well as the Western black-legged tick. Anaplasmosis is a lesser-known form that occurs due to Anaplasma platys and is transmitted through the brown tick of the dog. Anaplasmosis has been observed worldwide across a variety of species of animals.
What are the clinical symptoms of anaplasmosis?
The more prevalent type of anaplasmosis A. Phocytophilum, typically causes joint pain, lameness, and fever, along with lethargy, along with anorexia (lack of appetite). The majority of dogs suffering from the disease will experience symptoms lasting from 1 to seven days, however, there are some that will not show any or just minor signs. Common clinical signs are vomiting or diarrhea, coughing and labored breathing. Anaplasmosis is rare in cats, but the same clinical signs are evident when they develop the disease. Rarely, have neurological symptoms such as seizures been observed.
“Infection often causes lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite.”
The infection caused by A. platys can trigger chronic thrombocytopenia (a condition where there is a regular decline of platelets (circulating cells that aid in the process of blood clotting). The clinical manifestations are usually moderate, however, some dogs can develop bleeding or bruising (including nosebleeds) especially in the initial stages of disease when platelet counts could drop to their lowest.
Anaplasmosis-infected dogs often exhibit several of the same symptoms as dogs suffering from Lyme disease. Infection of each agent (co-infection) can be unusual. In both cases, Lyme illness and anaplasmosis can be located in the same geographical region and are transmitted via identical tick species.
What is the best way to diagnose anaplasmosis?
Different types of tests that can detect the presence of an infection or exposure are available. The presence of Anaplasma is detected in your veterinary practice using a specific test kit. Other tests, such as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent analysis (ELISA) as well as indirect fluorescent antibodies (IFA) as well as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are available to assist your vet to determine if active infections are present. These tests are sent out to an outside laboratory. Additionally, it is possible for the organism to be observed under microscopes during the most active phases of the disease.
“Your veterinarian will determine which diagnostic protocol is best for your dog.”
Your vet will go over the various options available for testing and will determine which diagnostic procedure is the best one for your dog’s health.
How can it be treated What is the outlook?
Canine Anaplasmosis treatment follows the similar to that used for tick-borne illnesses, such as ehrlichiosis as well as Lyme disease, using the antibiotic Doxycycline. The majority of dogs suffering from the disease are treated for a period of 2-4 weeks (the longer duration is more common in cases of co-infection alongside Lyme illness). Most of the time, the symptoms get better quickly. The dogs are usually significantly better within 24 to 48 hours after therapy has begun. the likelihood of a complete recovery is very good.
“The prognosis for clinical recovery is excellent.”
Although the majority of dogs show improvement it isn’t always easy to know if the dog is not infected. If a dog ceases to produce antibodies against the organism, it could mean that it has been eliminated from the body. If a dog is suffering from anaplasmosis, gets treated, and then returns to normal, it could remain positive for the disease on subsequent tests for blood. But this doesn’t suggest that the dog has an active infection. Hence, the second course of antibiotic treatment to try to obtain a negative test is usually not advised.
What if my dog was tested positive, but was not sick?
The dogs from regions where anaplasmosis and Lyme diseases are commonplace are often subjected to A. phagocytophilum , and have positive test results for antibodies. It is thought that many dogs have an antibody to A. the phagocytophilum but do not have any clinical signs. It has been proven that dogs who are clinically healthy may be suffering from persistent infections with A. the phagocytophilum. They are chronically infected, carrying the organism. We don’t know whether these dogs are likely to develop illness or not.
Recent research suggests that canine anaplasmosis can be an acute illness that manifests in dogs around a couple of weeks after being infected by a tick. Since chronic infections have not been linked directly to clinical diseases and an effective therapeutic approach to eliminating the infection from an animal is not yet established treatment of clinically healthy, positive test animals have no benefit and are not usually recommended at this time.
“A positive test result in a clinically healthy dog should not be disregarded.”
A positive test result for an animal that is clinically healthy should not be ignored. At the very least positive dogs must have an effective tick control program to reduce contact with ticks. It is apparent that co-infections with two or more tick-borne diseases are common. It’s also clear those who are co-infected in the presence of Lyme illness (Borrelia Burgdorferi), A. phagocytophilum Anaplasma, and B. burgdorferi is about two times more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than those infected by any of the three agents on their own. Your veterinarian will suggest an anti-tick medication that is the most suitable for your pet.
There is also a concern that chronically infected dogs may be negatively affected by drugs that weaken immunity (such as steroids) or an illness that may affect a dog’s immunity.
Can I get anaplasmosis from my dog?
Anaplasmosis is regarded as to be a pathogen that is zoonotic. It could cause human disease. However, the transmission of a virus directly between animals and humans, or from animal to animal, is very unlikely and is not verified.
If the dog is found to have anaplasmosis then strict controls for ticks must be implemented since this means that there are ticks with the disease around that can transmit the disease to humans.
What are the symptoms of anaplasmosis in dogs?
The typical symptoms of Anaplasmosis in cats, dogs as well as other animals can be difficult to identify since animals aren’t able to describe the signs and symptoms. The cause can be confusing. But pet parents are typically aware of their animal’s regular behavior and often can detect when their pet is down. The distinction between a bacterial or tick-borne illness and a viral infection cannot be determined without the use of specialized tests in the lab, but signs to be aware of which could be related to Anaplasma phagocytophilum include:
- A loss of appetite
- Joint pain, lameness resistance to move
- Nerve pain or other signs in certain situations
Signs and symptoms of Anaplasma platys are usually challenging for owners of pets to recognize as an indication of infection. Since the tick-borne illness may hinder blood clotting, common symptoms are any of the following:
- Gum bleeding and belly
- Spontaneous nosebleeds
Typically, symptoms of Anaplasmosis can be seen within a couple of weeks after an insect bite.
How to Treat Anaplasmosis in Dogs
When anaplasmosis has been diagnosed the treatment is based heavily on the antibiotic Doxycycline which is a tetracycline antibiotic. The majority of dogs suffering from the disease are treated for a period of 30 days, and in the vast majority of instances, the symptoms get better quickly. One of the concerns we have about the use of antibiotics such as Doxycycline is that this particular class of antibiotics tetracycline is known as broad-spectrum.
This implies that they’re effective against a variety of bacteria, including beneficial bacteria that live in the cat’s or dog’s digestive tract. Destroying the normal physiology of the intestinal tract by the treatment with powerful antibiotics over prolonged periods of time could cause chronic illness such as IBD or candida overgrowth and more.
The reason we are mentioning this is due to the fact that the majority of animals are able to combat tick-borne illnesses by themselves. A blood test that reveals anaplasmosis antibodies means that a cat or dog’s immune system is responding to illness. A lot of holistic veterinarians recommend monitoring your pet and observing whether any signs appear.
If lameness is evident there are vets who advise waiting one or two days to see if it improves itself, which usually occurs. Doxycycline is frequently used because of fear, which is not healthy for animals. Antibiotics should only be utilized only when absolutely required.
Natural Treatment for Anaplasmosis in Dogs
We have utilized natural treatments with great success for tick-borne diseases. A lot of dogs we’ve worked with have shown great response in the Antimicrobial formula. This formula includes the anti-inflammatory herbs echinacea as well as cat’s claw as well as antimicrobial herbs like goldenseal, thyme, and oregano. The blend of herbs works to boost your immune system by giving antimicrobial benefits and stimulating the production of white blood cells.
The adverse effects described in Conventional Treatment above are why we recommend a natural method of treatment for anaplasmosis first in cases where the situation isn’t life-threatening.
Our experience has shown that antibiotics like Doxycycline can be utilized after the initial treatment doesn’t provide the desired outcomes as well as you may be able to stay clear of some potential life-threatening side effects for your pet. Read the following section…
Does My Pet Require Treatment for Anaplasmosis?
The screening test utilized by the majority of veterinarians is the Snap 4Dx test from the Idexx test and the positive result is a sign of exposure, but not necessarily an illness that is clinical. Your veterinarian must assess your dog’s health issues together with other tests for diagnosing whether your dog requires treatment. A lot of our clients tell us that their pet is being treated for a tick-borne illness in the aftermath.
They inform us that there was no sign of illness however, a positive blood test was found at the annual vet check-up and the course of Doxycycline was suggested. This isn’t satisfactory; check out the side consequences of Doxycycline below.
According to Dr. Dawn Burke, anaplasmosis is mostly a self-limiting disease and, as per the medical definition, it’s an illness that will eventually resolve by itself, without treatment. A lot of animals come in contact with tickborne diseases such as anaplasmosis during their lifetime, but do not show any clinical signs since their immune system is functioning normally.
If there aren’t any symptoms an entire blood count to determine abnormalities may be conducted If there aren’t any the treatment shouldn’t be suggested, but the animal should be checked for signs of anaplasmosis as usual at some point in the near future.
What happens if anaplasmosis goes untreated?
If untreated Anaplasmosis may be fatal if left untreated. The most severe symptoms are breathing difficulties and hemorrhage as well as neurologic issues. People with a compromised immune system may experience greater severity of symptoms than healthy individuals.
How to remove a tick
If you discover an insect bite on your skin or on the skin of pets or children it is essential to eliminate them as soon as you can.
Ticks generally take more than 24 hours after attachment to transmit pathogens through bites, which includes the bacteria responsible for Lyme illness, Borrelia burgdorferi. However, certain infections could be transmitted more rapidly.
The best method to remove is to follow these steps:
- Do not touch your tick with force. Make use of fine tweezers, as well as avoid the blunt tweezers for your eyebrows. Gloves could be a good alternative in the event that tweezers are not available and the tick size is enough to be grasped with fingers.
- The tick should be held as close to the mouthparts of the tick as is possible. It is these parts that attach to the skin.
- Do not press the distended belly of the tick since this can result in the release of fluid into your body, which could increase the chance of transmission of diseases.
- Carefully pull the tick out of your body. Don’t turn it around, as this could cause the mouthpieces to snap off that will stay in your skin, and carry a possibility of passing on pathogens.
- If the parts of the mouth of the tick remain within the skin, try to remove them using tweezers.
- The tick should be kept in an air-tight pill bottle, jar, or a zippered storage bag should need to identify it later. Keep the tick until it is 10 days old in the refrigerator or freezer and label it with the date of bite and the location.
- Cleanse your hands and the area around the bite by using soapy water that is warm and warm. It is possible to apply an antibiotic ointment to your region to protect it.
Check your entire body to check for ticks.
A tick can have a strong grip due to two mechanisms. The mouthparts that are embedded have an elongated bar called the hypostome. Ticks release a similar substance to enhance their grip.
Consult a physician if you have difficulty removing the tick.
The ticks of some species are so small that it’s difficult to spot them are difficult to see. This makes it difficult to know if you’ve taken off the head. If you are unable to detect any obvious areas or the tick, then assume you’ve removed the whole from the tick.
Check for any symptoms that could be present during the next few weeks, such as:
- It is a rash
- joint pain
- Influenza-like symptoms
All of the above may be a sign of a tick-borne illness. Consult a doctor if any of them are evident.