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Anaplasmosis in Dogs… Important Tips for Treatment

Anaplasmosis is one of those scary medical conditions that can not only affect your beloved pet, it can also affect you as well!

This is why…

If you enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors with your dog, you should certainly familiarize yourself with:

  • What anaplasmosis is?
  • How it’s contracted?
  • And what symptoms are associated with the disease.

So, what is Anaplasmois?

Anaplasmosis is one of many tick-borne diseases that is prevalent within the continental United States.  The vast majority of which will be caused by the Anaplama phagocytophilum bacterium which is carried by the deer tick known as the Western Black-legged tick.

This is also the same…

Deer tick which is believed to be responsible for transmitting the more serious bacterial infection known as Lyme disease (caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium).


If you or your dog have contracted anaplasmois, you’re certainly going to want to be more careful in the future so that you don’t contact a more serious condition such as Lyme disease.

How is Anaplasmois contracted?

As with many other vector-borne diseases anaplasmois is transmitted by the infected tick to its host through a bite.

So, what happens in most situations is that your dog was either in the yard or off on a walk and manages to get itself in a bit of “wilderness” where an infected tick was living.

From there, its just a matter of time before the tick bites you or your dog, and now you’re a carrier of the disease yourself.

Symptoms of Anaplasmois or clinical signs of an infected dog…

Symptoms will likely include:
  • Fatigue.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Vomiting and or diarrhea.
  • Joint pain or stiffness.
  • Fever.

The good news is…

That once the condition has been diagnosed and recognized, your veterinarian will typically prescribe a round of treatment using the antibiotic doxycycline.

Doxycycline is extremely effective in treating anaplasmosis which is why most patients will see a major improvement in their condition within a day or two.

The bad news is…

That it’s not always that easy to diagnosis anaplasmosis because some dogs may not exhibit symptoms of the disease for several months after being infected and even then, once they do begin showing signs of illness, these symptoms could suggest any number of possible causes other than anaplasmosis.

This is why…

Your veterinarian is likely going to have to order a series of tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis prior to determining the true cause of your pet’s illness.

These tests will likely include:
  • Blood work exams which may indicate a reduced level of blood platelets as well as some abnormal white blood cells which are clear markers for infection.

That said however…

The best method of diagnosing anaplasmosis is to perform either an indirect fluorescent antibody (IFA) testing which will identify antibodies within the bloodstream of those infected with anaplasmosis or administer an ELISA or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test.

Now at this point…We like to take a moment and remind folks that we here at InsureYourPet are not medical professionals, and we’re certainly not veterinarians.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to have a passion for animals.

So…If you dog is exhibiting symptoms of having been exposed to anaplasmosis or is just acting a bit “odd”, by all means, take your pet to the VET!  The last thing you want to do is put the health of your pet at risk because you read something online!

Which brings us to…Why we here at IndugleYourPet write articles like these.

The first reason is because we do try and help our readers learn a little bit more about many of the health conditions that their pets may encounter throughout their life.

But it’s also to stress the importance at just how fragile all life is and point out that even if you have a really healthy pet, purchasing a pet insurance policy may still be a really good idea.

After all…

Healthy pets encounter ticks all the time.  And if the difference between having a really health pet and one that could require hundreds of dollars in medical bills is simply one tick bite away, wouldn’t you want to have the added protection something like an affordable pet insurance policy could provide?


In cases like these where an aggressive tick control program is being followed, actual contraction of the disease could be avoided entirely, which is why we would certainly encourage you to take a look at our Top 10 Best Flea and Tick Medications article where we highlight so of the pros and cons of some of the best products on the market right now.

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