Anaplasmosis is a disease in dogs that is caused by obligate intracellular bacterium that is spread from deer and certain rodents to dogs by deer ticks. Obligate intracellular bacteria means it must stay in cells and so we would not expect dogs or humans to be infected by contact with an infected animal, they must be bitten by an infected tick.
Some of the symptoms that our dogs can have if they are infected are, anorexia, lethargy, high fever, joint pain and most serious are platelet and anemia problems. Some dogs may be asymptomatic or just “under the weather” for a day or two and then are back to normal. Anaplasmosis is not a new disease but because we have new tests available that can detect it we now know that some of the lame, feverish, anorexic and anemic dog’s we see are being made sick by these bacteria
Many of the pets we see that are positive for Anaplasmosis are also positive for Lyme Disease and dogs that are positive for both of these diseases are more likely to show symptoms. If we suspect your dog has an active case of either Lyme Disease or Anaplasmosis we will treat with antibiotics. Most dogs respond quickly to the antibiotics and recover fully others may relapse and have recurrent problems, especially with Lyme Disease.
If your dog has been diagnosed with either Lyme Disease or Anaplasmosis we know that they have come in contact with deer ticks and if you were with your dog you may have had contact also.
One of the most valuable results of the tests for Lyme Disease and Anaplasmosis is that it gives us a warning that we are in areas that have deer ticks and so now we can take measure to help protect our pets and ourselves. Good tick control is VERY VERY important. Frontline was the best product we have ever had for ticks but in recent years we have seen problems with Frontline killing deer ticks. The makers of Frontline have a new product called Certifect that is Frontline with an added product called amitraz. We recommend all dogs that go to areas that have deer ticks be switched to Certifect but the plain Frontline works very well against our common wood ticks and fleas. The Certifect does have a larger volume and we do not want cats coming in contact with the liquid.
If you have further questions on Anaplasmosis or Lyme Disease please contact us at Petcetera Animal Clinic at 701-775-0549.