Jump to section

What is Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis)?

The parasitic blood infection, haemobartonellosis, is a parasitic blood infection transmitted to our dogs by ticks and fleas. The red blood cells are targeted, and these are the cells which carry the oxygen in the bloodstream. The M. Haemocanis, the mycoplasma parasite, is considered a germ that is extremely small and does not need oxygen to survive; this parasite belongs to the Mollicute order of basic bacteria. They do not have cell walls, are highly antibiotic resistant, and are difficult to effectively eliminate. 

When ticks and fleas feed on an animal that is infected by the parasite, they pass on M. Haemocanis to another. The parasite thrives in the red blood cells, and when an infected pest taps onto a dog, the infection is spread. Usually, a dog becomes adversely affected by this infection if they have had a previous splenectomy; the spleen is the organ which filters the blood cells that are damaged, and if a dog doesn’t have this organ, the damaged cells are not filtered out of the body.

Parasitic blood infection (haemobartonellosis) in dogs is a blood infection that is caused by the transmission of M. Haemocanis via ticks and fleas.

Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) Average Cost

From 28 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$750

Symptoms of Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) in Dogs

Symptoms of parasitic blood infections in dogs are quite noticeable and need medical treatment as soon as possible. Symptoms of Haemobartonellosis include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Listlessness and weakness
  • White to purple colored gums
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

Types

There are several other types of blood parasite infections in which canines can become affected with that are brought to them by ticks and fleas. Other types include:

  • Babesiosis
  • American Canine Hepatozoonosis
  • Ehrlichiosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Flea-Bite Anemia
  • Hepatozoon Canis
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) in Dogs

Fleas and ticks pass on the mycoplasma haemocanis as they move and feed from one dog to the next. Secondary illness and immunosuppression allow for further complications with this infection.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) in Dogs

If your dog exhibits any of the symptoms, a visit to the veterinarian is necessary. A complete physical exam will be conducted, which will include a complete battery of blood tests, chemical profile of the blood, a blood count and smear, and urinalysis. A test can be conducted to show if mycoplasmas in the bloodstream are present (Coombs’ testing), and specific mycoplasmas can be identified through the blood smear.

The veterinarian will be able to differentiate between similar disorders, such as chronic granulocytic leukemia, eosinophilic leukemia, and eosinophilic gastroenteritis once the tests results come back.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) in Dogs

Medication

Antibiotics and glucocorticoids are effective medications; however, there is the possibility that your pat will remain a carrier of the infection and relapse is possible.

Steroid Therapy

Any anemia developed from the parasitic blood infection may be treated with steroid therapy. Regaining a healthy blood supply is possible with the use of these medications.

Hospitalization

Hospitalization will need to occur in very severe cases. This is necessary if your companion is very ill and listless. Hospitalization will allow the dog to receive necessary fluids, and in very severe cases, a blood transfusion. With this, the dog will become stable.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) in Dogs

Once your dog begins treatment, the veterinarian will want to see him regularly to monitor his progress. He will do a complete blood count to check the levels of mycoplasma. It is important to understand that your dog will continue to be a carrier of the disease once he recovers. 

Prevention of ticks and fleas will need to become a priority. There are many flea and tick prevention products available on the market, and your veterinarian can guide you in making a selection if needed. Products that contain permethrins can be quite effective in controlling fleas and ticks. Regular use and monitoring are important, and it is also suggested that the dog remains stress-free, so any immune health stays positive.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) Average Cost

From 28 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$750

arrow-up-icon

Top

Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Mixed breed

dog-age-icon

2 years old

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Blood Parasite

Good evening, The vet provided a total of 4 injections (1 for antibiotics and 1 for multivitamins but i cant remember the other two) as initial treatment for my dog due to blood parasite. Is that enough to treat the infection? Im asking since the medicines prescribed by the doctor are too expensive and my parents aren't willing to pay for it. Thank you!

July 10, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Gina U. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello If your pet has a blood-borne parasite, it is recommended to give him all of the medications that your veterinarian recommends. They will help treat the infection and make your pet feel better. The initial injections help the medicine get in his system faster, but then you have to follow up with oral medications daily. Unfortunately that is not optional, unless your parents do not want their pet to get better. Good luck.

July 10, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Enzo

dog-breed-icon

Golden Retriever

dog-age-icon

9 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Vomiting
Loss Of Balance
Loss Of Appetite

My dog has been vomiting on and off for two weeks now. He barely eats (very small quantities if he does at all) and lost a lot of weight. Going now back and forth to the vet, did two ultrasounds and blood tests. The latest ones presented enlargened kodneys and adrenal glands (i believe that's the name) and the vet suspects a tumour in the lymph nodes and another vet suspects blood parasites. We will do another test tomorrow for the parasites. What do you recommend we check for? Thanks

Aug. 8, 2018

Enzo's Owner


answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It depends on the type of enlargement of the kidney (general enlargement or enlargement due to hydronephrosis); there are many conditions which may cause an enlargement of the kidneys but few causes for adrenal gland enlargement. When it comes to cases like this it is difficult to weigh in as I haven’t examined Enzo or seen any test results, but I would look at likely conditions and think about which tests are cost effective to start ruling out possible conditions. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 9, 2018

Hi my pomeranian was diagnosed of having blood parasyte after visiting the his poop is now black.. im worried though there are sime improvements but im worried with his poop.. its like he is having diarrhea

Aug. 17, 2018

Christopher B.

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Teemo

dog-breed-icon

Mixed

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Hi! The vet prescribed Doxycycline to be taken twice a day for two weeks. However, due to our hectic work schedule, we were not able to strictly follow the prescription. He was scheduled to have his blood tested again last week but we haven't complied. Do you think we should finish up with the prescribed meds for two weeks again before we visit the vet?

June 12, 2018

Teemo's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

You should ensure that any treatment is given in accordance with your Veterinarian’s instructions; it is never a good idea to give antibiotics intermittently and you should think about visiting your Veterinarian to refill the prescription and start treatment again especially if only a few doses were given. The misuse of antibiotics is creating an issue with antibiotic resistance which is why we need to use them responsibly as prescribed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 13, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Kitkat

dog-breed-icon

Siberian Husky

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed

Hi my husky was diagnosed with blood parasites today from what seems to be ticks. She is in fit and tiptop condition, no loss of appetite or her being weak. She also has not loss any weight and is still running around and playing with other dogs, the only thing wrong about her is her nose bleed. Can i still take her to short walks?

May 4, 2018

Kitkat's Owner


answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If your Veterinarian has recommended that Kitkat should rest, I cannot go against those instructions since I haven’t examined her; however some movement wouldn’t hurt but I would recommend short walks on a lead away from grass. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 4, 2018

Hi, my great dane Atlas was diagnosed with blood parasite today. He didn't show any symptoms before, until he started to have nosebleeds. Is this disease deadly? By any chance?

Aug. 5, 2018

Scy E.


My dog was diagnosed with blood parasite. All the symptoms has showed. His lossing his appetite and he is always sad. He's not eating. But Im giving him antibiotic and vitamins and dextrose since he is not eating. What else should I do?

July 12, 2018

Allisa G.

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Thor

dog-breed-icon

Siberian Husky

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Blood Parasite

Hi, can a Husky that recovered from blood parasite infection still infect other dog near him? via Body Fluids, Saliva etc.? or only from (Tick & Flea)? because i was thinking getting another puppy.

Feb. 16, 2018

Thor's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It depends on the parasite as some dogs may remain persistently infected after recovery, so you should have Thor tested to determine if he is a carrier or not; types of blood parasites include Babesiosis, Haemobartonellosis, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, Trypanosomiasis among others are considered to be parasitic blood infections. Discuss with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Feb. 16, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

Parasitic Blood Infection (Haemobartonellosis) Average Cost

From 28 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$750

How can we help your pet?