naturegurlMarch 11, 2008

At my dog's annual checkup, he tested positive for anaplasmosis - a tick-borne disease. He doesn't show any signs of being infected: no fever, lethary or joint issues, and I can only assume he's had this condition for months because it's been below freezing for the last 3 months up here. (prior to the big freeze I applied topicals and performed fur checks religiously). I have a follow up appt with the vet scheduled for this weekend to do bloodwork and discuss the next step. Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Any ideas on prognosis? I know my vet will answer all those questions on Saturday, I'm just fishing for some optimism on the forum.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have three dogs, two have had it.

One was infected when I rescued her from certain death, she was so bad her jaws hurt and she couldn't eat. She looked like a walking skeleton.

The other had sever arthritic symptoms.

Both dogs showed sighs of improvement within about two days after first treatment.

I have had it, did not have what would be "typical" symptoms, lethargy and fever that kept coming and going. I was diagnosed with it about a week after first symptoms, medication took effect after about a day.

The biggest problem with Lyme Disease is mis-diagnosis, both in animals and humans. Not all vets and human doctors recognize it, and it can cause severe health effects if not caught early in humans. With dogs, it may be different. The dog that was emaciated has been fine for the past 5 years.

You can look all you want for the ticks, they are microscopic and you will probably miss them. The best thing you can do is your home work. Google is the best source.

Given my experience, I have told anyone that will listen that if they have, or their pets have, arthritic symptoms for no apparent reason, they should insist on a Lyme test as soon as possible. It will save tons of time, frustration and money.

I have a friend who's doctor missed the diagnosis, and she is now in a somewhat desperate state because it went to long before treatment.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 8:20AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

anaplasmosis is usually in reference to "ehrlichiosis" not lyme
Below is a link explaining

Here is a link that might be useful: treatment for anaplasmosis ( ehrlichiosis) in dogs

    Bookmark   March 12, 2008 at 8:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry if I made a mistake, I did a search on Google and it said Anaplasmosis is Lyme.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Naturegirl, if he's positive treat him now. TBDs can lay dormant for years and when they become symptomatic it can be too late and much damage done. RMSF, Lyme & Erlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis (different organism than Erlichia) can all be treated with doxycycline at home. Babesiosis is treated with Imizol injections. All are manageable if you get treatment before symptoms appear. You might want to consider a full tick panel to test for all TBDs vs just the in office snap tests. Your vet can send blood to NC State for complete testing.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 6:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Spirit, that's ok, I think I am confused myself as a few years back it's all been reclassified.

(Ehrlichia ristici is now reclassified as Neorickettsia ristici, and Ehrlichia platys is not reclassified as Anaplasma platys. Ehrlichia equi, Ehrlichia phagocytophila, and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichial Agent have been deemed to all be the same species and have been reclassified as Anaplasma phagocytophila).

    Bookmark   March 13, 2008 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

cynthia, I just returned home from the vet and his CBC came back negative for any signs of infection, or abnormal enzyme levels. They recommended NOT giving him antibiotics at this time. Since he is not symptomatic they said the antibiotics wouldn't do anything because there is nothing to treat. They recommended that I just keep a close eye on him for any of the symptoms of the disease, and that it could remain dormant for many years. Does that sound reasonable to you? (I guess I should first ask if you are a vet?) Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 10:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, a CBC does NOT show tick borne diseases!!!! If this were my dog, I'd ask for a complete tick panel through North Carolina State. Many vets aren't familiar with TBDs unless they're in the southern states where these are more prevalent. So no, it does not sound reasonable to me. What state do you live in?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 11:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cynthia, I live in Massachusets. Lyme has been a huge problem up here for years, and we're only just beginning to see anaplasmosis. The vet tech admitted that they are still learning about this disease as well. The CBC was done to check WBC counts for evidence of infection, and RBC for anemia. Do you have more information about the complete tick panel? Thanks for your help!!!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 1:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My horse, Ralph is being treated for Equine Ehrlichia. Monday he didn't eat and had a temp of 104. The vet came out and gave him an iv. On tues I had to take him to the vets, 100 mile round trip, and get another iv. He is on oral doxycycline for 6 days. He is better now when I let him out to eat some grass he trotted, he had been staggering. I only found one tick on him but it was the right tick. I've been spraying him and my dogs with tick repellent when I let them out.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 2:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm a vet student at NC State, so I know a little (OK a lot) about what we do with anaplasmosis here. First of all, our lab does not test for it. I suspect the positive result came from the Idexx 4D snap test. I have copied some information that NC State has regarding this test:

Anaplasmosis, caused by A. phagocytophilum, is characterized by an acute, febrile illness in cats, dogs, horses and human beings. Anaplasma phagocytophilum can also infect numerous other wild animal species that serve as reservoir hosts for subsequent transmission by Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes pacificus and perhaps other tick species.
Clinical Application: The SNAP 4DX test detects antibodies to a synthetic A.
phagocytophilum immunodominant protein. Due to serological cross reactivity, the test will also be positive in dogs previously exposed to Anaplasma platys, the cause of cyclic canine thrombocytopenia. Anaplasma platys appears to be transmitted by the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Based upon PCR testing, canine anaplasmosis is frequently encountered in sick dogs and people in the northeastern, north central and
north western United States and southern Canada. Due to transmission by the same tick vector (I. scapularis or I. pacificus) in the United States, co-infections with B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum are common in "Lyme-endemic" regions. Dogs infected with A. phagocytophilum can develop only mild illness or perhaps no clinically apparent illness at all. Dogs co-infected with B. burgdorferi and A. phagocytophilum are more likely to develop severe disease signs. Experimentally, dogs can develop chronic A. phagoctyophilum infection in the absence of clinical signs of disease. The extent to which natural A. phagocytophilum infection following tick transmission results in chronic infection or induces chronic disease manifestations is unknown. In contrast, infection with A. platys can induce chronic infection, accompanied by a moderate to severe cyclic thrombocytopenia, but generally without accompanying severe clinical manifestations. An Anaplasma SNAP+ dog that has resided in the southeastern United States is more likely to have been exposed to A. platys, which is a relatively common tick borne infection, as compared to A. phagoctyophilum, which is infrequently transmitted to cats,
dogs, horses or human beings in the southeastern US (similar to data relative to patterns of B. burgdorferi transmission).

Treatment: Treatment of healthy Anaplasma SNAP+ dogs in Lyme-endemic regions is not currently recommended as there is limited evidence that detection of antibodies correlates with chronic infection due to A. phagocytophilum. PCR could be used to establish chronic or recurrent infection due to A. phagocytophilum. Anaplasma SNAP+ dogs from the southeastern US, Central or South America may be infected with A. platys,
which would warrant treatment if the dog was thrombocyotopenic (remember the decrease in platelet numbers is cyclic) or PCR+. Both infections are thought to respond to doxycycline. The duration of treatment has not been clearly established for either 4 infection so dogs are generally treated for 4 weeks as proposed for E. canis infections. Co-infection with E.canis and A. platys causes more severe thrombocytopenia and may be more difficult to elicit a cure with doxycycline. The influence of co-infection on treatment outcome is unknown.

In healthy dogs, B. burgdorferi, E. canis and A. phagocytophilum test results should be recorded in the patient record. This information would be useful to the clinician if the dog develops compatible disease manifestations at some future time. For questions related to our testing capabilities, contact the VBDDL at North Carolina State Universityat 919-513-8279 or by e-mail ( You can also visit our website
at: ( for diagnostic request forms and other information.
This information is provided to veterinarians as a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.
Duncan AW, MT Correa, JF Levine, Breitschwerdt EB: The dog as a sentinel for human infection: Prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi C6 antibodies in dogs from southeastern and mid-Atlantic states. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 4:221-229; 2004.
OConnor TP, Hanscom J L Hegarty B C, Groat RG, Breitschwerdt E B Comparison of an indirect immunofluorescence assay, western blot analysis and a commercially available LISA for detection of Ehrlichia canis antibodies in canine sera. Am. J. Vet. Res. 2006; 67:206-210.
Solano-Gallego, L, Llull J, Osso M, Hegarty B, Breitschwerdt E. A serological study of exposure to arthropod-borne pathogens in dogs from northeastern Spain. Vet Res. 2006;37:231-44.

Hess PR, English RV, Hegarty BC, Brown GD, Breitschwerdt EB. Experimental
Ehrlichia canis infection in the dog does not cause immunosuppression. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2006;109:117-25.

So basically your vet is doing the right thing by not treating at this time.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you Meghane, that was very helpful!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2008 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, thanks again Meghane for clearing this up.

My dog that was the worst does test positive, with no symptoms.

My vet does do a test on all of my dogs, just in case. She told me that some dogs do test positive, without symptoms.

I guess the key word here is "symptom".


    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

thanks for all the information, as I live in the northeast where winter is still in process, and have already found 2 dog ticks on my dog, just from my backyard. Scary stuff!

I am using an herbal remedy, in hopes that it will work. I wash my dog with a natural bar soap containing lots of lavender oil and rosemary oil. Afterwards, and every other day or so, I've been giving him a few sprays of a mixture of spring water and tea tree, rosemary, sage, cedarwood, citronella, peppermint, sweet orange, eucalyptus, and pine needle oil. All of these are said to be repellent to fleas and ticks. I mist it on and rub it in a little. So far so good, but we are not really heavily into tick and flea season we will see if it works. I have heard though that you can pick up ticks ANY time of the year, even here in the cold northeast.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2008 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ines, that spray sounds delicious! Is it your own concoction or did you purchase it somewhere? I just pulled an engorged deer tick off my dog and am really frustrated with the ticks up here, I just don't know what to do.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The tick season in the Northeast is already in full season. Two of the three of my dogs have already had two of the tick borne diseases this year already. (anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis) The vet told me it was because we really didnt have a real cold winter so alot of the ticks survived. For whatever its worth, my dogs have had different tick diseases the come and go for the last three years. When I notice some of the symptoms, (being mopey, tired, grouchy, limping etc), I just call the vet and he gets a prescription ready.(doxycycline) Once they have been diagnosed with it, it can come back at any time.

About a month ago my lab suddenly could not walk. He's almost 100 lbs. For a week he just laid there, I had to bring his food to him, his water, carry him down the stairs and steady him so he could go outside to do his business. This was the worst episode we have had with the tick business. My vet was on vacation, the office staff got him started on the antibiotic, but it wasnt working. I saw another vet who basically doubled his medication. Within 2 days he was up and about. He had to stay on it for a month. Its horrible. Naturegurl, I know when my first dog was diagnosed I was scared that it was fatal, thankfully,treatment is successful with antibiotic.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I found out today that my 3 yr old Siberian Husky has Anaplasmosis. She has absolutely no signs of the disease but we had a random blood test done this morning and they diagnosed her with the disease. I am very confused about some things because of the fact that the vet said there is absolutely no cure for it but yet ive been researching all day online to find some insight on the disease and they say that they can use doxycycline and tetracycline to cure it. And the vet said that because she has no symptoms they cant do anything for it. But yet online it says to get it treated as soon as possible or it can be deadly. Can somebody please give me some insight as to what can or cannot be done for this? Thank You so much.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

shtyarose, see Meghane's post up above - she shared with us the latest research on this subject, pretty much confirming that the current evidence-based practice consists of waiting until the pet exhibits signs of the disease. The signs to look out for are:

Lack of energy
high fever
swollen painful joints
loss of appetite

An update on my pooch - he started to become a very finicky eater about a week after his checkup. He has also been having some loose stools. It's been going on for several weeks with no other symptoms, but my vet started him on doxy just to be safe.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 4:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello All,

I'm from India and I'm not sure whether this forum was meant just for cases of ehrlichiosis in US but I'm so desperate that I thought of posting it.

My 5 year old Doberman was diagnosed with ehrlichia and it was put on tetracycline and doxycycline IV for a week and was then put to an oral dose of tetracycline (100mg). It has been a month now and it had started taking food. It was improving as far as the food intake was concerned and we were all relieved that it was over but from the past 2 days it is showing symptoms as it had done a month back. It all seems like a dejavu. Does this disease relapse even during oral antibiotics. What might be the problem with it. Will it survive. I've read that the antibiotics should be given for 8-12 weeks but has anyone come across such a revival of some symptoms.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2008 at 1:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

our Labradoodle has a bad limp on front leg it comes and goes with activity. We have spent over $1000. in testing and they have no clue, this was seeing 4 different vets and still no idea whats wrong with her? She did test positive for anaplasmosis a couple years ago and was treated with antibiotics. She also had rear leg surgery for a dislocated knee. Could this limp be caused by anaplasma and would additional antibiotic treatment help this condition. she's only 3 1/2 years old.? Please help? We are at wit's end.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My 5 yr. old dog was just tested positive for Anaplasmosis. We did the Frontline thing religiously but somehow those little ticks get un-noticed. My vet said" unless he has symptoms they can not treat him". We'll just keep an eye on him and love him.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 7:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi there. Anaplasmosis is serious stuff. My 6 yr old JRT, Tillie is still working through it. Because it attacked her the platelets (thrombocytopenia,) we saw NO symptoms til critical stage, and then we saw evidence of bleeding - gums, skin, etc... She was in essence a dog hemopheliac - had energy, ate, acted totally normal, etc. just few platelets. We took her to the vet immediately upon seeing these, and she was critical. Platelet level of 35 when normal is 300-500. They told us that if she started to bleed - anywhere - internal or external, they might not be able to stop it. Gave her IV drugs to avoid the risk of upchuck and possible bleed. It was horrific. I had to agree to a DNR. Luckily, she made it thru a full week at an amazing vet clinic. Required 2 blood transfusions. Doxy for a month, 2 doses of Pred/day and other meds. The month is up, and we just took her for bloodwork yesterday. Good news, platelets at 377. Not so good news, liver enzymes high and white blood cell count high. Not sure what is up. I guess she is not outa the woods. We're starting to reduce the Pred gradually and will check blood next week. She's somewhat lethargic and has swollen glands on her chest - we believe it to be the lymph nodes responding to all this and are hopeful with the next blood report.

All I'm saying is, be forewarned, anaplasmosis may fool you with lack of apparent symptoms.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi there,
My pug Lola was diagnosed with anaplasmosis today by the vet because she had her annual SNAP4 testing. The vet is immediately putting her on an antibiotic tomorrow and that gave me such a sigh of relief after reading about what it is and how it effects dogs.
Does anyone recommend any specific Tick prevention (monthly application)? I use a good brand but it makes me second guess my decision making skills. I'm so sad to hear of this but hope that the antibiotic will help her?
Any advice or knowledge to ease my mind would be greatly appreciated! This is my first dog and she's so young (a year and a half)... :(

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
loose aggressive dog on walk, need help
i need helpful advice about aggressive dog in neighborhood....
What cute/funny things do your cats do?
I have one cat who fetches and will bring me toys asking...
Am I confusing my cat?
I've had My Manx for 3 years this summer. He was an...
how many of you like mice?
They are Ginny and scabbers.I don't have them now because...
How to approach neighbors re: horrendous dog poo smell?
I'm sorry if this post is long, but I'm trying to give...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™