Babesiosis

What is Babesiosis?

This disease is principally a problem in dogs and is transmitted by certain species of ticks called Dermacentor species. When the tick feeds, saliva is injected into the host together with the Babesia organisms which invade and multiply in red blood cells causing them to burst. A tick biting an infected animal will become infected itself, and can go on to infect other dogs.

Affected animals develop:

  • Fever
  • Anaemia
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Red or dark urine associated with jaundice (yellow gums)

Diagnosis and Treatment

It can be a fatal disease and diagnosis is usually confirmed from blood samples. Specific drugs and supportive treatments including blood transfusions are required in severely anaemic dogs.

Prevention

You can help protect your dog against Babesiosis by using suitable veterinary advised parasite prevention products that protect against the ticks that carry the disease.
Please ask us about our FREE Travel Clinics which help you plan the appropriate disease prevention measures and also check your pet’s microchip is still active. Remember to prepare well in advance as some parasite prevention products need to be applied well before any possible exposure to parasites. Please contact your local branch for an appointment.

Useful links:
Travelling With Your Pet-What You Need To Know
Ticks