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Tick Fever - Babesiosis

We are seeing a rapid rise in babesia cases presenting to our clinic during the past few weeks. Tick fever is a potentially fatal and unpredictable tick-borne disease. The parasite infects the red blood cells of dogs which causes the destruction of these cells and therefore anaemia. Owners may notice any of the following symptoms: weakness, lethargy, decreased appetite, pale mucous membrane, yellow mucous membranes, and discoloured/dark urine.

The disease is diagnosed when your vet makes a blood smear from your dog's ear.

The babesia parasites can be seen in the red blood cells. The prognosis for a dog diagnosed with babesiosis is guarded, depending on the body systems that are affected at the time of diagnosis. Some dogs may appear okay but can deteriorate rapidly and even die from the disease due to the number of body systems affected. The treatment includes a drug that kills the parasites, intravenous fluids, supportive care and in a lot of cases a blood transfusion depending on the severity of anaemia.

The good news is that tick fever is almost 100% preventable by making sure your dog’s tick and flea control is up to date. There are many products on the market but your vet can advise you best on which product will work for your pet.

A special thank you to Zeus and his owners who allowed us to use his blood to save some lives🙌

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