An illness spread by ticks called babesiosis or babesia infection affects dogs all throughout the US. Today, our Memphis veterinarians discuss the signs, causes, and treatments of babesiosis, as well as how you may help shield your dog from diseases spread by ticks, such as babesiosis.
Babesiosis in Dogs
Babesiosis is caused by a class of Babesia organisms that are transmitted through the bite of infected ticks. In humans, dogs, and other mammals, these creatures enter and damage the red blood cells. Most of the Babesia organisms found in dogs in the US are Babesia canis and Babesia gibsoni. Greyhounds and pit bull terriers are the most common babesiosis hosts.
How Dogs Contract Babesiosis
Some studies show that infected dogs with sores in their mouths can spread the infection by biting other dogs, and infected pregnant females can pass the infection to their unborn puppies. Dogs often catch babesiosis through the bite of an infected tick. Most of the time, pit bulls get Babesia gibsoni infections from a bite from another dog or from their mother.
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Signs of Babesiosis in Dogs
Even though dogs with chronic Babesia often don’t have any symptoms, it’s important to know that even if a dog doesn’t have symptoms, it can still spread the illness to other animals or people.
If your dog has Babesiosis, the symptoms will vary depending on the type of Babesia that has infected them. T
The following are some of the most typical signs of acute babesiosis:
Babesia Infections Are Diagnosed
Your veterinarian will do a full checkup on your dog. During this time, they will look for signs of the illness, such as swollen lymph nodes, pale mucous membranes, and an enlarged spleen. If your dog’s symptoms are thought to be caused by babesiosis, your veterinarian may advise blood and urine testing to look for bilirubinuria as well as indicators of anemia, a low platelet count, and low albumin.
The Prognosis for Dogs with Babesiosis
Unfortunately, most canine Babesiosis cases are not discovered in the early stages, which means that by the time treatment begins, the disease has already advanced somewhat. The prognosis is typically guarded since how profoundly the sickness affects your dog’s internal systems will determine how successfully your dog recovers from the ailment.
Dogs that recover from an initial Babesia infection may continue to be infected but asymptomatic for a considerable amount of time before relapsing. The disease may still be disseminated by dogs who have a chronic infection.
Protecting Your Dog Against Babesiosis
Since treating canine babesiosis can be costly, prevention is crucial whenever possible!
An efficient strategy to lower your dog’s chance of developing a number of tick-borne illnesses, such as Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, and Lyme, is to keep your dog on tick prevention medicine all year long.
Since Babesia transmission normally takes 48 hours or longer after the tick starts feeding on your dog, frequent tick checks and proper removal of any parasites you find can also help to prevent tick-borne infections.