American dog tick and Babesia Protozoa

Babesiosis
This protozoan parasite effects the
Circulatory and immune systems
It is caused by ticks similar to the spread of lyme disease.
It is in the genus Babesia of protozoa, which includes one-celled organisms
that are parasites of red blood cells. Babesiosis occurs worldwide,
mostly in regions where the tick infestations are prevalent.
This disease occurs most commonly in dogs, but has been  reported in cats.
Young pets are susceptible more often and often with worse symptoms.

SOURCE
The two species of tick that are believed to spread this disease are:
Rhipicephalus sanguineus
(Brown Dog Tick)
Dermacentor variabilis,
(American Dog Tick)
The tick bites an infected animal and It then releases from that animal
and digests the blood meal, which is introduced into it’s next host as an anticoagulant.
The protozoa then attach's and penetrates red blood cells
Your pet’s immune system will normally target and destroy.
Pregnant female dogs can spread this disease to their unborn puppies,
so infected females should not be bred.
There maybe evidence that Babesiosis can be spread
through dogs eating rodents or animals.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
Pale tongue, gums, nose
(Due to severe deficiency of red blood cells)
Fever greater than 105.8℉
Loss of appetite
Lethargy
Red or orange urine
Enlarged lymph nodes
Cats with this disease often show no symptoms,
though they do have the protozoa present in their bodies.

This disease is often associated with other tick-borne disease
such as Lyme Disease, Canine Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
This will make symptoms worse and complicate diagnosis.

DIAGNOSIS
Recent tick exposure and bite history
CBC/Chemistry Panel -
(The CBC is a measure for the amount of red and white blood cells)

•Blood smear
(Examination to see the Babesia parasite)

Immunofluorescence
Used to illuminate a pathogen or antibodies using a fluorescent dye.
The dye attach's to  Babesia antibody's  and show under
a microscope as a bright green spot on the slide.   

TREATMENT
Treatment is dependant on which Babesia species your pet has.
The most common species, B. canis,
(Treated with an anti-protozoal drug like Imidocarb)
The less common species, B. gibsoni,
(Requires a combination of drugs)
Antimicrobial drugs may also be used to treat this condition.
Pets infected with this disease are often lifetime carriers
It also may recur if your pet 's immune system lowers and
allows the protozoa to get out of control again.

PREVENTION
Greyhounds and pit bull dog breeds are most susceptible to this disease.
Any blood donor dog should be tested for Babesiosis
Preventing ticks that bite your dog
This may be achieved by:

Use of a flea preventatives that protect against ticks as well
Avoid environments frequented by ticks
(Between May and August, for climates with a winter although ticks can be active above 32℉)
Check your pet for ticks after they go outside
Proper removal of ticks
Removing ticks within 24 hours can greatly reduce the chance.  

Human Animals and Babesiosis
Babesia microti and Babesia divergens are the two species that infect human animals.
Infections from other species of Babesia have been documented in humans but are not habitually seen.

John A Sampson I
K9 Training
K9Intl@K9Training.us
989-662-6230
00 + 1 + 989-662-6230 International
Babesia Protozoa
Brown dog tick can transmit Babesia Protozoa
Babesia Protozoa
Babesia Protozoa under microscope
Dyed Babesia Protozoa on slide
Babesia Protozoa sample view
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