Anaplasmosis in Dogs

My dog was diagnosed with anaplasmosis? What is it?

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Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease caused by the infectious bacterial organism Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is transmitted through bites of the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and western black-legged tick. A lesser form of anaplasmosis is caused by Anaplasma platys and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Anaplasmosis has been reported worldwide in a wide variety of animals.

What are the clinical signs of anaplasmosis?

Infection with the more common form of anaplasmosis, A. phagocytophilum, often causes lameness, joint pain, fever, lethargy, and not eating (inappetance). Most infected dogs will have symptoms for 1 to 7 days; however, some will have no or only minor symptoms. Less common clinical signs include vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and labored breathing. Rarely, neurological signs such as seizures have been reported.

How is anaplasmosis diagnosed?

Several types of tests, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), are available to help your veterinarian diagnose anaplasmosis. In addition, the organism can sometimes be seen through a microscope during peak phases of infection.

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