Here at Neumeister Animal Hospital we always stress to bring your dog in for a heartworm – and tick panel screening at least once a year. If infected, regular testing can provide early detection, which can improve your dog’s prognosis.
This was the case after doing the yearly test on one of our clients Poodlepointer. In the past, all heartworm – and tick panel screening results had been negative, but this time it came back positive for Anaplasmosis phagocytophilum. In order to get more detailed information about this dog’s infection, a blood sample was sent to a laboratory that specializes in vector-borne disease testing.
Canine anaplasmosis phagocytophilum is an infection of the white blood cells transmitted by the deer tick (a.k.a. black-legged tick) or the western black-legged tick. It can infect people as well as pets.
This particular dog did not show any obvious symptoms, but common signs for this would include loss of appetite, lethargy, lameness or reluctance to move, and neck pain or neurological signs. Treatment usually starts with broad-spectrum antibiotics.