Piroplasmosis Infections and Babesia in Dogs
Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog
Piroplasmosis in Humans
Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog
SymptomsCharacteristic of Piroplasmosis:some of these Piroplasmosis symptoms are highly unusual, but others are quite common among patients:
- loss of sight
- difficulties of the central nervous system
- elevated immune system response
- elevated body temperature
- reduction in appetite
- skin rashes without known causes
- lack of coordination
- uncontrolled bladder
- high globulins
- uncontrolled muscle movements
- limping for no known reason
- low blood platelet counts
- low blood pressure
- dysfunction or failure of organs, including the liver and kidneys
- difficulty digesting food
- respiratory problems
- enlargement of the spleen
Piroplasmosis may be mistaken for rabies. The symptoms common to both illnesses include:
- kidney failure
- elevation of proteins
- loss of skeletal muscle tissue, or rhabdomyolysis
- brownish urine
- extreme sensitivity of the mouth or head
- the death of muscle
- muscle bleeding
- sciatic nerve neuropathy
- ear twitching
- sensitivity of the legs and back
Many Piroplasmosis signs are caused by reduced oxygen delivery to organs, tissues, and the central nervous system, which happens when ruptured red blood cells clog capillaries and block oxygen-rich blood from being delivered.
Some dogs will carry Babesia but never develop a single Piroplasmosis symptom (but can still transmit the parasite to other dogs). Others will fall victim quickly, becoming ill with severe symptoms that seem to come from nowhere. More will experience Piroplasmosis as a chronic disease, with nagging symptoms that do not respond to treatment.
Never eliminate Piroplasmosis as a possibility just because your dog’s urine isn’t darker than normal. There was a time when veterinarians used dark urine as the primary indicator pointing toward Piroplasmosis; however, of the last 29 Piroplasmosis cases seen by Cabinet Veterinaire International, only one of them had brownish urine.
Piroplasmosis Diagnostics: The presence of Babesia in the blood stream of a dog can be confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or by microscopic scrutiny of a sample of blood.Cabinet Veterinaire International recommends the former, since human error is a contributing factor in the accuracy of the latter. If the latter is used, the concentration of Babesia seen in the blood is generally an indicator of just how serious the infection has become.
Piroplasmosis’s Potential Complications: There are a number of things that can intensify Piroplasmosis symptoms. Firstly, any dog that has had its spleen removed is more susceptible to acute symptoms (as proven by a three-year-old splenectomized terrier that passed away only two days after symptoms developed). Secondly, whenever the immune system is negotiated (as with poor nutrition or with advanced age, for example), symptoms will likely compound or develop chronically.
The Treatment of Piroplasmosis: Effective treatment is available to combat Piroplasmosis and it usually entails pharmaceutical injections with accompanying hydration therapy. A blood transfusion may be necessary, depending on the severity of the infection – but only your dog’s veterinarian can determine that need.
Cabinet Veterinaire International recommends treatment for this disease in the presence of any symptoms and we advise speaking with your dog’s veterinarian as soon as possible – about the treatment’s side effects, duration, and your pet’s prognosis. The sooner treatment is initiated, the better the chances of survival. Even if diagnostics are negative, treatment is still suggested (any side effects will pale in comparison to the potentially deadly effects of advanced Piroplasmosis).
PreventingDog Piroplasmosis: Even though the Babesia parasite is easily transmitted and contracted, there are numerous ways to lessen your pet’s risk. One very simple prevention method is applying anti-tick spray or drops to discourage ticks from latching onto your dog. Some dogs may have allergic reactions to those compounds, though. In order to test an anti-tick spray or drops, apply it to your dog’s paw and wait one day. If there is no allergic reaction or other side effects suffered, then the product may be applied as recommended; however, you should notify the dog’s veterinarian if any other adverse reactions occur.
Obtain the Piroplasmosis vaccine for your dog. This preventative measure will not stop Babesia from inhabiting his or her bloodstream, but it will prevent Piroplasmosis symptoms from developing (or at least keep them from becoming as severe as they might without the vaccine).
Check your pet’s skin for tickson a daily basis. Due to the fact that it generally takes at least one day for Babesia to be transmitted, regular daily examinations and tick removals, as needed, will defend your pet against Piroplasmosis infection. If a tick is found, pull it out with a pair of tweezers. The area of the latch-on should be disinfected and your veterinarian should be alerted.Immersing the tick in rubbing alcohol will both kill and preserve it. Record the date of removal on the container and store it away, in case any symptoms should develop (your dog’s veterinarian may want to see the perpetrator).
In the United States, American Pit Bull terriers are at high risk for harboring and incubatingBabesia gibsonibecause of their propensity for fighting; therefore, preventing the brawling reduces the risk. Babesia canis vogeli occurs more often in Greyhounds than in other breed, because of high incidences of Greyhound-donated blood transfusions that are often unscreened. Cabinet Veterinaire International advises that all blood donations be screened for the parasite.
If you are planning on breeding your dog, your dog and its mate should be tested for Babesia before any coupling occurs.