CANINE BABESIOSIS (BILIARY FEVER)
Clinical signs of disease
The peracute (very sudden and severe) form causes death within a few hours and treatment is of little avail. More commonly dogs suffer from the acute or subacute form. This is recognized by the dog being listless or lethargic, losing its appetite and running a temperature. If your dog is off its food, take a rectal temperature reading. If this is 39° C or higher you should have the dog examined – do not wait until its mucous membranes become pale, white or yellow, which commonly suggests a more advanced stage of the disease. Fever is present only while the patient is actively fighting the parasite; the disease may be present with a normal (38,5° C) or subnormal temperature. Yellow faeces and brown or red urine also suggests the presence of biliary fever.
Treatment should only be given after a positive diagnosis has been made by means of a blood test. Usually treatment is effective, depending on several factors, but the majority will respond. In early cases simple injections are usually sufficient, but in others blood transfusions, electrolyte infusions per vein, liver tonics, blood- building, etc., may be required.
As yet, no preventive vaccine is available. Rely on reducing the dog’s tick population by regular use of approved tick control measures like Bravetco and Seresto Tick collars.
Canine ehrlichiosis is a disease of dogs caused by a tiny parasite (Ehrlichia canis) which is injected into the dog’s bloodstream by a tick. The disease can vary from acute to chronic. The most important effects of the parasite are a destruction of red blood cells and a suppression of the function of the bone marrow.
Clinical signs of disease
Fever that is continuous or intermittent.
Loss of appetite (complete to intermittent}.
Progressive loss in body condition.
Progressive development of pale gums.
The dog may occasionally develop nose bleeds.
Treatment is usually initiated when the disease has been confirmed by tests such as examination of a blood smear or full blood test. The medication is usually given either orally and/or intravenously. Prolonged treatment may at times be necessary. Supportive treatment may include a blood transfusion, fluid administration, etc. Treatment is usually successful in the acute and subacute stages of the disease but in advanced chronic cases, the prognosis is often hopeless.
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