Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Anaplasmosis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Diarrhea / Lethargy / Pain / Seizures / Ticks / Weight Loss

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Rated as moderate conditon

13 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Diarrhea / Lethargy / Pain / Seizures / Ticks / Weight Loss

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Anaplasmosis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Anaplasmosis?

When trying to figure out if your dog is suffering from anaplasmosis there are a few things to be aware of. While this tick-borne disease is prevalent throughout the entire United States, it has been found to be higher in the Northeastern United States, upper Midwest and the West Coast. Large dog breeds may also be at a higher risk of contracting this tick-borne disease.

Your dog may develop flu-like symptoms such as lethargy, pain and fever. Due to these symptoms being very vague, it will be important to know where your dog has been recently and to check him for any recent tick exposure. Anaplasmosis is often confused with lyme disease as they are carried by the same family of ticks and can produce very similar symptoms. It has been found that where there is lyme disease there is typically also anaplasmosis. It has been found that as little as 24 hours of tick feeding and up to 5 days could result in your dog contracting the illness.

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that can spread to your dog through contact with ticks. This is a bacterial disease that is one of the 3 most common tick-borne illnesses in dogs in the United States.

Symptoms of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Your dog may exhibit vague symptoms and signs of discomfort or that something is not quite right with him. It will be important to look for recent tick bites, or current ticks attached to your dog. Be aware of where you live and of the more specific symptoms he may display. Symptoms can be present as soon as 2 weeks after exposure and can last up to 20 days. 

  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • Bloody nose
  • Malaise
  • Fever
  • General pain 
  • Joint pain
  • Lameness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Labored breathing
  • Meningitis
  • Seizure activity
  • Ataxia

Types

There are 2 strains of anaplasmosis that your dog may contract – neutrophilic canine anaplasmosis which is caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum. The second one is thrombocytotropic anaplasmosis and is caused by A. platys.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum (A. phagocytophilum)

 

  • Acute febrile illness also known as fever, chills and muscle/joint pain
  • Found in northern regions, upper Midwest and the West Coast
  • Transmitted by black legged deer ticks

A. platys

 

  • Can create a low platelet count in your dog.
  • Found in southern regions
  • Transmitted by brown dog ticks
  • Reported throughout the entire United States

Causes of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

The only cause of anaplasmosis in your dog is by him contracting the disease via a tick bite. There is some indication that your dog could be infected by direction contact with medical tools contaminated by the infection (blood transfusions or needles) but this is very rare.

Diagnosis of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

If you find yourself concerned about your dog and he is displaying symptoms with no other explanation, a trip to his veterinarian may be in order. Your veterinarian will most likely perform an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the bacteria. However, she may also ask for a blood draw in order to definitively find out what your dog has contracted as a positive test does not necessary mean they have the disease, but rather they have been in contact with it. Due to anaplasmosis symptoms looking very similar to lyme disease, it will be very important for your veterinarian to figure how to best treat your pet. Your veterinarian may want to also perform a full physical examination on him to see if he has a fever, any current ticks, feeding spots from a past tick, and more. 

Be prepared to relay as much information as you can at the appointment so your veterinarian can make a correct diagnosis. Has your dog been outside in any areas that he could have come into contact with ticks recently? It will also be important to recall and share with the veterinarian whether you have had to remove any ticks from your pet of late. 

It will also be important to discuss with your veterinarian how long your dog has been experiencing symptoms as there are symptoms that show up within 2-4 weeks of being exposed, but can continue for months to possibly throughout your dog’s life.

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Treatment of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

When it comes time to decide what treatment options will work best for your dog, your veterinarian may suggest a large variety of medications.

  • Doxycycline, orally for 28 days and rarely via IV
  • Minocycline, orally for 28 days and rarely via IV
  • Tetracycline, orally for 28 days (has been found to cause tooth discoloration)
  • Chloramphenicol, orally or via IV for 28 days
  • Imidocarb dipropinoate, once then repeat in 2-3 weeks
  • Amicarbalide once then repeat in 2-3 weeks
  • Short term prednisode, 2-7 days (for severe or life threatening cases)

It has been found that medication administered for less than 28-30 days may not clear up the entire infection. There has been some possibility of reinfection of anaplasmosis even after treatment via tick interaction again or a resurface of the disease.

Recovery of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Once your dog has been diagnosed with anaplasmosis he may test positive on antibody tests for a few months after being treated. This is important to be aware of in the event you bring your dog to a new veterinarian after being treated.

There are no vaccinations at this time to prevent anaplasmosis; however, you can take preventive measures to help your dog avoid further tick exposure and infection. Using tick medication as recommended by your veterinarian will help your dog to avoid having any ticks attach to him. There are several tick avoidance products to choose from and your veterinarian can help you to determine what will be best for your dog.

In the event you do find a tick on your dog there are proper ways to remove it from him. This includes being cautious not to come into contact with the tick or any of it’s body parts by using gloves, forceps or tick removing devices. It can also be helpful to bring in the tick to your veterinarian if you remove one from your dog so that they can test it for any diseases. Removing the tick within 24-48 hours can also help to prevent the transmission of any diseases. 

Lastly, keep the area your dog roams in clean and free of overgrown weeds and grass. Checking your dog regularly for any ticks, bites, etc can also help to ensure infection does not go unnoticed.

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Anaplasmosis Average Cost

From 357 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

Anaplasmosis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Billy

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Collie

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5 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Well

A five year old male collie is asymptomatic, but tests reveal he is positive for Lymes and anaplasmosis. The tests, Lymes and CBC, were done because I may be taking the dog. The breeder is bringing in a urine sample on Tuesday at which time a treatment plan will be determined. He is unaware of when the dog may have been infected. What are the chances that the dog will remain asymptomatic and healthy?

July 29, 2018

Billy's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Some dogs do remain asymptomatic and may never have clinical disease. It isn't possible to put a percentage on the possibility of disease, but having repeat titers done to see if it is an active infection might help. If it is not an active infection, and he has fought the disease off, he may remain asymptomatic.

July 29, 2018

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Ollie

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Labrador Retriever

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3 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

He Had Squishy Poop Today

For the past two days when my dog wakes up from sleep his hind legs are immobile for some time. Its as if he is trying to move them but can't. He is three years old and is a Labrador retriever. WHat could it be?

June 6, 2018

Ollie's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Ollie may have an injury, or a nerve or muscle problem. It would be best to have him seen and examined by a veterinarian, as that is not normal for a 3 year old lab! A veterinarian can examine him, determine what might be going on, and recommend any testing or treatment that he may need.

June 6, 2018

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Loki

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Lab mix

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1 Year

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargic
No Appetite
Not Drinking
Pale Gums And Ears

My dog has Anaplasmosis and was treated, just after we finished the 30 day treatment his signs are back and worse than before. Besides taking him to the vet what I can I do for him?

Feb. 25, 2018

Loki's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Treatment with doxycycline or tetracycline for thirty days is considered the treatment of choice for Anaplasmosis in dogs, in the majority of cases patients recovery quickly after the start of treatment but may remain asymptomatically infected. However, some cases may recur with symptoms and would require another course of treatment; you should discuss with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 25, 2018

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Miss Lincoln

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American Bulldog

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10 Years

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

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Fair condition

Has Symptoms

None

My American Bulldog was diagnosed with Anaplasmosis without my asking for a CBC, How is this determined without a blood test, Of which I never ordered. by the way. She shows no symptoms & is on strick tick preventatives.

Nov. 29, 2017

Miss Lincoln's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

A presumptive diagnosis can be made when a dog is showing symptoms of joint pain, lethargy, fever and loss of appetite; in an asymptomatic animal, laboratory tests are required to diagnose Anaplasmosis. Speak with your Veterinarian about the diagnostic steps and the rationale behind the diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Nov. 29, 2017

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Boone

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Redbone Coonhound

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2 Years

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Serious condition

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1 found helpful

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Serious condition

Has Symptoms

105.6 Fever, Lethargy, Joint Pain,

I love my Vet but from everything I am reading all other Vet give a 30 day treatment of Doxycycline, our Vet is only priscribing a 2 week script, my dog is very sick, when I took him in he had a temp of 105.6 and his PLT was only 16k after 3 day of Doxy it is not 81K, I am worried 2 weeks is not sufficiant .. what is your advice .. thank you!

Nov. 20, 2017

Boone's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If I was you, I would speak with your Veterinarian; it is possible that your Veterinarian gave you two weeks of doxycycline so that you would return at two weeks for a checkup and to pick up another two or three weeks worth of doxycycline. Treatment with doxycycline at 5-10mg/kg (around 2.5-5mg/lb) twice per day for thirty days is a standard treatment plan. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Nov. 21, 2017

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Pepper

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Chow Chow

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3 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Weight Loss
Joint Pains, Lameness, Lethargy

My dog tested positive for anaplasma. She is now on antibiotics, etc. and she has trouble getting up and walking. Is it normal that her stool is black and a bit watery? Maybe due to her meds? How long does it take for her to walk properly again?

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Lucy

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red bone coon hound / terrier mix

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11 Days

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Serious condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Depression
Fever
Lethargy
Joint Pain
Diminished Apetite

My dog was diagnosed with Anaplasmosis 3 weeks ago. She has great difficultly walking now, difficult climbing up and down stairs, has had a temp hovering around 104 the entire time. She will eat and take her pills. Most of the day she just lies around. We are unsure if we should keep giving her meds and hope for a recovery as her improvement to date is small. We do not want her to suffer. How long do we wait and watch?

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chotu

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Labrador Retriever

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16 Months

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Apetite Is Not Good
Falling Down With Spinning Of Head
Looking Dull

HI, I have male labrador which is of 1.4 years. My dog is suffering with low platelets and his apetite is not good. It is falling down, when he spins his head or run fast suddenly.I think due to spinning or weakness. It has been gone a blood test and confirmed that Anaplasia (Medium detected) And babesia gibsoni (detected medium) in PCR blood test. As of now we are using carapil and doxypet tablets winse a week. Still it is falling down but improved a lot.Doctor asked us to start a treatement for Anaplasia and babesia as soon as possible. Please suggest a good treatment in this case ?

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Musette

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Beauceron

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3 Years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

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Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Thirst
Excessive Panting
‘Not Herself”
More “Clingy”

My dog seemed “just not herself” the other day. I took her to a different Vet, as my regular vet was booked solid and I did not want to wait too long. The vet took her temp, which was slightly elevated. She also did a physical exam, xray and SNAP test 4DX+ for heartworm and tick-borne diseases. That test was negative. She then did bloodwork. That showed low red cell, low white cell count as well as a few other items. She felt that these facts, despite negative SNAP test, were enough to treat for ANAPLASMOSIS. My dog is on heartworm and flea and tick preventative. The ticks have been horrible this year and I am constantly removing one or more ticks every day. I have chickens that free range all but her kennel area. How do I safely rid her area of potential ticks? It has been too wet to put down diatomaceous earth (food grade). How do I keep my dog and farm safe?

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Rowan

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Shih Tzu

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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Serious condition

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Not Drinking
Low Appetite
Decreased Personality
Pain From Injury
Anaplasmosis
Slow Recovery But Tiny Progress

Our buddy had symptoms early summer of Lyme so our vet gave him minocycline without testing as she couldn't see him and were headed out of town. He vomited after taking it pretty often and took it for a little more than a week. His symptoms improved by mid summer. Just last week tho, he missed trying to jump into the truck and hurt his abdomen and back and cried in pain a few hours later. At the vet, x-rays and blood tests were good but tested + for anaplasmosis. His pain was terrible, and he was on gabapentin over that weekend but didn't respond well, switched to metacam and added doxy with a stomach soothing med. He is not drinking AT ALL since accident for 10 days. I'm giving syringes of Pedialyte and bringing him in for fluid pillows injections. He's been on doxy for 4 days and I'm only seeing slow improvement. He's eating a little more and wants to do a few more of his "jobs" What else can be done? Adding a combo antibiotic? removing metacam in case it's tummy discomfort but risk if his pain from injury had improved enough (deep tissue bruising, possibly inflamed disc) Or is waiting still smart? I marked serious as condition because not drinking independently combined with other things for so long is very scary. The improvements are there, but that is not budging. Thank you

Anaplasmosis Average Cost

From 357 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$350

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