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What is anaplasmosis in pets?
You are probably familiar with the most common of tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, but there are other reasons to protect your pets with flea and tick preventative pet drugs like Revolution and Sentinel. Anaplasmosis is one tick-borne bacterial disease that is slightly more difficult to discover than others, but it is important to look for now that tick season is here.
Anaplasmosis is carried by deer ticks and transmitted to dogs when they are bitten. Generally, the symptoms of this infection develop within 10 to 14 days, but sometimes it can take a number of months. Look for symptoms like lethargy, high fever, swollen joints and a shifting lameness in your dog. Some will also experience vomiting or diarrhea and neurological signs. Sometimes, seizures can occur, and the infection can cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
If you and your canine are lucky, it will be able to clear the infection on its own without showing any of these clinical signs. But others will need treatment. If you suspect your pet might have contracted this infection, call your vet. The vet will run blood work and an office test called 4DX, which differentiates it from other tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever.
Once your dog is diagnosed, the vet will likely prescribe pet products like Doxycycline, an antibiotic. The dog will usually have to take these pills for about four weeks, so if your dog has trouble swallowing pills, you might want to make it easier for both of you with a product like Greenies Pill Pockets. You can stick the pill inside these treats and your pooch will never know it is ingesting medicine.
The dog's symptoms will drastically improve over the first few days of treatment. Your veterinarian might also recommend a switch in pet food or suggest some supplements that can boost the dog's immune system while it fights off this infection. Be Well Dog is one that has all types of nutritious ingredients like garlic, kelp, sunflower seeds and more to boost your dog's immune system.
There is only one surefire way to prevent this disease – flea and tick preventative medications. This is why it is so important that you do not ever skip one of these monthly applications. It is also important that you apply it correctly.