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Anaplasmosis In Dogs – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Anaplasma In Dogs

What Is Anaplasmosis In Dogs?

When it comes to tick-born threats to canines, Lyme and Ehrlichia hogs the limelight. But, there is also another tick-born disease that can affect dog’s bloodstream and can cause lameness, nosebleeds and even Meningitis in your pet

Anaplasmosis (aka dog fever or dog tick fever) is caused by the bacterium. Anaplasma phagocytophilum transmitted through bites of western black-legged tick and the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick). The deer tick is also responsible for the spread of Lyme disease.

Anaplasma platy causes a lesser form of anaplasmosis and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. This can cause;cyclic thrombocytopenia, a rare condition in which there is a periodic fluctuation in platelets.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anaplasmosis In Dogs?

Flu-like symptoms is the most common signs

Reported symptoms of Anaplasma phagocytophilium infection include:

  • Lameness
  • Malaise
  • Lethargy
  • Joint pain and Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Labored breathing
  • Cough
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Ataxia (lack of muscle and movement control)
  • Chills
  • Meningitis

Reported symptoms of Anaplasma Platys

  • Blood clotting issues (such as cyclic thrombocytopenia)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bruising
  • Red splotches on the belly and gums
  • Lack of appetite and weight loss

What Is The Treatment For Anaplasmosis In Dogs?

Treatment includes a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers.

Doxycycline, Minocycline, Chloramphenicol and Tetracycline.

Doxycycline is the drug of choice (5–10 mg/kg/day, PO or IV). Most dogs respond within 24-48 hours after they first take doxycycline.

Analgesia and anti-inflammatory drugs may be needed for joint pain.

Dogs with cyclic thrombocytopenia would be treated with platelet or whole-blood transfusions as needed, especially for extensive hemorrhage.

Home Remedies For Anaplasmosis In Dogs

Remove Tick from a Dog Using Tweezers or a Tick Removal Tool

  1. Gather your supplies (rubbing alcohol, an antibiotic ointment or antiseptic liquid, latex or disposable rubber gloves, and a tick-removing tool or clean pair of tweezers)
  2. Wear gloves, comb through and part the hair, and check if you feel any bumps on the skin. Ticks can be as big as a grape or as small as a pinhead. Deer ticks are usually the size of a sesame seed.
  3. Slowly slide the tweezer(preferably pointy ones) beneath the tick, and clutch the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pinch and pull gently.
  4. Try to grab the head of the tick, and avoid squeezing or gripping the body of the tick, as there is a possibility of bursting or breakage, making the rest of the tick removal more difficult.
  5. In case of using a tick removal tool instead of tweezers, glide the tool towards the dog’s skin so that, in the smallest part the tick’s head will be stuck.
  6. Softly but firmly from the skin, pull straight up until the tick gets detached.
    • Tick Key- drag sideways alongside the skin.
    • Tick Tornado, or Tick Twister, or similar tools - twist and then pull the tick away.
  7. Put the picked upticks in a container with rubbing alcohol and dispose of later, if it is not required for Vet examination
  8. clean the area of the tick using soapy water gently, use a warm compress, and finally apply a small amount of triple antibiotic ointment
  9. Disinfect the tweezers before storage.
  10. Appreciate your dog for keeping quiet and giving them a treat.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Developing Anaplasmosis?

  • A wide variety of effective tick collars, spot-on treatments, and oral medications are available; Consult with your veterinarian about the best product for your dog.
  • Ticks are most active in the spring and fall. While regions where ticks are prevalent (like North America), continual tick prevention is recommended.
  • Discourage your dog from roaming freely in grassy forested pathways and wooded tick-infested areas
  • After any time spent in grassy or wooded areas, run a good old-fashioned "tick check” and feel for bumps on the dog tick trail.
  • Frisk your dog – in the ears, neck, belly, chest, back, and toes for any ticks.
  • Tick hotspots are patches of tall grass, suburban landscapes, and overgrown bushes so keep them at bay by mowing, weeding, or trimming and maintaining a manicured lawn. When you notice a significant infestation, use outdoor garden treatments like environmentally friendly tick sprays and deterrents for your yard.
  • Cut down the access of tick-carrying animals to your yard; always make sure trash bins and compost piles are placed safely to discourage any curious wild animals (opossums, raccoons, deers, skunks, etc)

Dog Breeds Affected By Anaplasmosis

Causes And Types Of Anaplasmosis In Dogs

  1. Canine anaplasmosis is a vector-borne zoonotic disease that is distributed worldwide.
  2. Two forms of anaplasmosis are known:
  • Canine granulocytic anaplasmosis (CGA): These are multi-systemic, acute, unspecific sickness portrayed by many clinicopathological conditions. CGA is much more common
  • Infectious cyclic thrombocytopenia (CTP): Platelet level fluctuations in periodic cycles. The pathogenesis of CTP most likely heterogeneous
  1. Vector- borne disease: Tick vector transmission (a vector is a living being that can carry and transmit pathogens).
  • In this case, the infections are transmitted by the bite of infected arthropods
  • Reservoir hosts (a primary microbial host, that is infected and serves as a source of infection of other living beings) are usually deer, small rodents etc.
  • Incubation period is about 1 to 2 weeks with a median of 9 days.
  1. Anaplasma infected dogs often have many of the same symptoms as those with Lyme disease, and co-infections between Anaplasmosis and Lyme have been reported. Both anaplasmosis and Lyme disease are transmitted by the same tick species.

When To See A Vet?

As soon as your dog is showing the below-mentioned signs of Anaplasmosis, Make sure to book an appointment with your veterinarian.

  • Joint pain and Fever
  • Labored breathing
  • Cough

Diet And Food Suggestions For Anaplasmosis In Dogs

  • Folate: liver, yeast (such as nutritional yeast), green vegetables such as spinach, brussel sprouts, silverbeet, and kale.
  • Vitamin B-12: eggs, beef liver.
  • Iron: lean meats like ground beef and lamb, fish, such as sardines and salmon, pumpkin, carrots, and leafy greens.
  • vitamin C and bioflavonoids: brussel sprouts, spinach, broccoli, kale, pineapple, papaya, and strawberries, etc.
  • Chicken soup bone broth(or use beef or lamb bones).


Sometimes, dogs with anaplasmosis may be asymptomatic, but if he does have symptoms, they usually appear a week or two after being bitten by an infected tick. If left untreated, severe cases of Anaplasmosis can be fatal for dogs, so head to your vet immediately.

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