Piroplasmosis in dogs - description, symptoms and treatment


As the air temperature after winter rises to + 6 ° C and the humidity begins to increase, it is necessary to walk around the wooded and overgrown first grass area with caution. This is the beginning of the period when Ixodid ticks begin to wait for their first victims.

They are our four-legged pets - cats and, most often, dogs. What if a tick bit the dog? What are the first signs of piroplasmosis in dogs and what should owners do first?

Pyroplasmosis (another name babesiosis) is a serious infectious disease spread mainly by ixodic ticks. The whole point of the infected parasite insect saliva, with which the causative agent of the disease enters the blood of the animal. Those. the dog through tick becomes infected with piroplasmosis.

Causative agent

The causative agent of piroplasmosis is an intracellular parasite, called Piroplasma canis. It affects the red blood cells - red blood cells. Hence the characteristic symptoms - the disease immediately "hits" kidney and liver (organs that remove dead red blood cells) and provoke a common intoxication of the body.

Features of the disease

Piroplasmosis has an incubation period from 7 to 14 days. This is book information. In fact he hesitates from 3 to 21 days. During this period of time you need to closely monitor the dog, trying to notice the slightest changes in the state of health. In rare cases, the disease can develop during a few hours. This is really rare, but the cases are quite real.

The most important feature is the polymorphism of clinical signs, since Piroplasmosis in dogs has a variety of symptoms.

  • You can note at once all the classic manifestations,
  • Or maybe, except for lethargy with loss of appetite or high fever, nothing will ever happen.

When a tick on the dog's body is detected, contact the veterinarian with the slightest changes in the pet's health state so that it is not too late. In a dog, piroplasmosis gives complications to the cardiovascular system, liver and kidneys.

How the disease manifests and what to look for

What should immediately attract the attention of the owner in your dog:

  • lethargy, apathy, the animal becomes "sad",
  • decrease or lack of appetite
  • intense thirst (due to temperature increase)
  • in case of piroplasmosis, urine changes color from dark yellow to brown and black and bloody, sometimes it seems that the dog urinates with one blood. This symptom is not always the case.

What additionally does the vet find:
  • pallor or yellowish tinge of the visible mucous membranes and the whites of the eyes,
  • a sharp jump in body temperature to 40-41.5 ° C (hence, by the way, the name of the disease: “pyro” - hot + plasma, ie, “hot blood”).

What else could be:
  • shortness of breath and / or shortness of breath,
  • refusal to walk, almost constant sleep,
  • tachycardia (heart beats faster than usual)
  • diarrhea (diarrhea) with bloody mucus,
  • vomiting yellow contents,
  • dry mucous membranes and reduced skin turgor on the background of dehydration,
  • weakness and paresis of the hind limbs,
  • intense yellowing of the teeth (basal plaque).

Piroplasmosis is terrible because absolutely all the symptoms do not always appear. Sometimes there may be some one symptom sometimes several, but always above normal temperature! Not immediately 40-41, but what is above 39 is the law. Even a chronic course, which is classified as conditionally asymptomatic, also proceeds with temperature.

Chronic course is generally expressed by a weak clinic and can easily be confused with any other disease. In such cases, a blood test helps.

Treatment of piroplasmosis in dogs should begin immediately, as soon as symptoms have been identified that leave no doubt as to what hurt the animal.

Diagnosis and treatment

There is usually enough clinical signs for the diagnosis taking into account seasonality and information that the dog was walking in dangerous places, or that a tick was taken. In some cases, it is possible to take blood for piroplasmosis (venous or capillary), where hemolysis of erythrocytes is detected (destruction) or the parasites themselves inside the erythrocytes with conventional microscopy.

Sometimes the diagnosis of piroplasmosis may require a urinalysis or blood chemistry, but this is not the case when urgent help is needed. This is when, in a sluggish situation, it is necessary to exclude other diseases with similar symptoms (leptospirosis, pathologies of the kidneys and / or the liver).

Treatment of piroplasmosis at home is impossible and almost always ends with the death of the animal. Veterinarians do not have time to help because of lost time for self-treatment!

The treatment regimen of piroplasmosis is reduced to three main stages:
  • specific medicine for piroplasmosis is introduced,
  • Intoxication is removed,
  • extensive supportive therapy is performed.

In most cases, only specific antipyroplasmic drugs are enough, however, it is strongly recommended not to ignore the associated supportive measures, since Piroplasmosis has serious consequences for a dog’s health.

Injections from piroplasmosis

  • Pyrostop,
  • Imidosan,
  • Fortikarb,
  • Imidocarp
  • Azidin-Vet,
  • Veriben,
  • Berenil,
  • Imizol,
  • Pyrogard,
  • Tryponil.

Absolutely all of these drugs have approximately the same toxicity and effects on the body. Required at the same time as dexamethasone or prednisone, in order not only to somewhat reduce the toxic effect of the drug, but also to prevent toxic shock during the mass death of piroplasm in the dog's body.

A bottle of any of the drugs diluted with water for injection in a volume of 2.5 ml and injected intramuscularly or subcutaneously in a strict dosage of 1 ml / 20 kg body weight of the animal. If necessary, re-introduction of the drug is carried out in 24-30 hours.

If the exact weight is not known, but only approximate, then it is better to introduce less, and then repeat the introduction, than immediately overdose in the first injection!

How to treat piroplasmosis in any particular case decides only veterinarian! All the schemes and medicinal combinations is also only he!

Restoring a dog after piroplasmosis

It depends on how much the dog got sick and how time the medical assistance was rendered, how much the recovery after piroplasmosis will be complete. In order for the rehabilitation process to be effective and the specialist has determined for himself the schemes for how to restore the dog, it is recommended to have a blood test after treatment - general and biochemistry.

The results will show very well which organs and systems have suffered and whether there is anemia. According to him the veterinarian will be guided, which drugs to prescribe not only to maintain, but also to improve the condition. Treatment of a dog after piroplasmosis makes it possible to bring the animal into the state in which it was before infection, to the extent possible.

  • Within 2-3 weeks the dog after suffering piroplasmosis should not be subjected to increased physical exercise and exercise.
  • Nutrition must be easily digestible and nutritious. Be sure to focus on the liver, if there is anemia. The diet is not limited by anything except milk, if there are problems with the pancreas.

You can feed:
  • rice, buckwheat porridge with the addition of any meat products (except for bones and pork) and vegetables,
  • dairy products,
  • dry feed to give after soaking with water until the state of gruel,
  • must always be fresh water.

With the right approach, a complete recovery of the dog after piroplasmosis occurs approximately six months later.


Of course, any disease is better and cheaper to prevent than to cure. Prevention of piroplasmosis should never be subject to doubts on the part of dog owners - the infection is really very tough and insidious, it’s better not to get sick!

The main methods of prevention include:

  • regular treatment of dogs with tick mites, which will scare them away from themselves or make animals “invisible” for tick receptors (usually drops on withers),
  • mandatory inspection of the body of the animal after each walk (laziness can cost the life of a pet!),
  • piroplasmosis vaccination,
  • the introduction of specific drugs for prophylaxis, without waiting for the symptoms to appear, as soon as a tick was found on the body.

Pathological changes in the dog's body

In the first hours, days after infection, the tick bite, the number of babesies in the body is low, so the first pathological manifestations can be seen with an increase in the number of babesies in the body of animals.

Microscopic blood parasites quickly spread through the bloodstream throughout the body, release endotoxins in the course of their vital activity, penetrate red blood cells (red blood cells), gradually destroying them, feeding on hemoglobin. In erythrocytes, further division (reproduction) of dangerous bacteria occurs.

With the destruction of red blood cells, a large amount of hemoglobin is released, which does not have time to be processed by the kidneys and other organs. As a result, during the breakdown of hemoglobin, toxic products that disrupt the normal functioning of organs and systems enter the bloodstream, and severe intoxication develops. First of all, the cardiovascular system suffers, the condition of the vessels deteriorates, and their conductivity is disturbed.

Owing to the development of anemia, oxygen starvation of the internal organs occurs, since the erythrocytes are responsible for transporting oxygen to organs and tissues, the liver decomposes cellular structures - hepatocytes, and degenerative-destructive processes affect organ tissues. The spleen and kidneys are also involved in the pathological process. They note disturbances in the functioning of the respiratory system, since the lungs, trying to compensate for the lack of oxygen, are working for wear.

Disintegrated groups of red blood cells contribute to the formation of blood clots, which clog the renal channels, which causes the development of renal failure.

Symptoms of piroplasmosis in dogs

The duration of the incubation period is from 1-5 days to two to three weeks after the bite. A dangerous disease can occur on the following day after infection. If babesiosis infection occurred during blood transfusion, clinical manifestations are noted on the second day. The intensity, severity of symptoms depends on the age of the animals, the state of the immune system, the resistance of the organism, the stage, the form of the disease.

Piroplasmosis in dogs occurs in an acute and chronic form, with a particularly severe course of the disease observed in puppies, high-pedigree dogs, representatives of decorative breeds. The disease is dangerous in that even after full recovery, complications are possible.

The cunning of the disease lies in the fact that the owners of the dogs may not immediately notice a deterioration in the state of their pet, associating the deterioration of the condition with the heat, overheating of the dog. But in the case of piroplasmosis, every minute plays an important role.

Symptoms of piroplasmosis in dogs:

Sharp decrease in physical activity. The dog looks lethargic, apathetic, weakly reacting to external stimuli.

In the acute stage, a sharp rise in temperature (up to 41-41.5 degrees) is noted. the temperature does not fall during the first two or three days.

Refusal to feed, favorite treats. Thirst appears, the dog constantly and in large quantities drinks water.

Anemic, yellow mucous. Sclera, mucous eyes, integuments acquire a pronounced icteric shade, which is associated with a violation of the liver.

Difficult breathing, shortness of breath, increased heart rate.

Diarrhea, blood clots, vomiting, bouts of nausea are noticeable in the stool.

Another characteristic symptom that diagnoses babesiosis in dogs is a change in urine color. Urine becomes dark brown, reddish. The color of urine changes when blood enters it. As the disease progresses, a strong intoxication of the body develops, the functioning of the internal organs and body systems is disturbed.

The chronic stage of piroplasmosis is rare. Diagnosed in dogs with high resistance of the organism, as well as mongrel dogs who had previously experienced babesiosis in animals. At this stage of the insidious disease, clinical manifestations are hardly noticeable. In the first days, a slight rise in temperature, darkening of the urine, deterioration of the general physiological state, and yellowness of the mucous membranes are possible, after which the condition of the animal normalizes.

Diagnostic Techniques

The diagnosis of piroplasmosis in dogs is complex. Veterinary specialists in clinics conduct a series of laboratory tests. Diagnostic techniques include:

general inspection of animals

serological tests, biochemical analysis of blood for detection of babezium in cellular blood structures,

urine test (color, hemoglobin),

differential diagnosis, PCR.

In doubtful cases, with repeated infection after two to three weeks, re-diagnosis can be performed, especially a series of biochemical, serological tests. Repeat analyzes will allow to get a more accurate picture, because in the first days, if the dog's condition worsens, all clinical manifestations of piroplasmosis are visible on the face, at the time of analysis, babesia may not be detected in the red blood cells, which leads to inaccurate diagnosis.

Considering the specifics of the disease, do not forget that every day of delay can cost your dog's life, therefore we recommend to undergo a rapid analysis (not to be confused with a rapid test).

Treatment of piroplasmosis in dogs

Effective treatment can be prescribed only by a veterinary specialist, based on the results of diagnostic studies, the age, condition of the dog, the intensity of clinical symptoms. Without appropriately prescribed appropriate treatment, the death of dogs is possible in 98%.

The main goal of therapeutic methods is to prevent the spread and reproduction of dangerous microorganisms, eliminate pathological manifestations, and normalize the general condition of a sick animal. It is equally important to reduce the development of serious pathologies in the body, to restore the dog's body after taking the medication prescribed for the treatment of a dangerous illness.

The result of the treatment depends largely on how quickly the dog owner reacted to the change in the state of his beloved pet. The best option is to deliver the dog on the first day after infection, the appearance of the first characteristic symptoms. it should be borne in mind that the tick on the body of the dog can not be detected, since blood-sucking parasites can spontaneously fall off, having drunk blood.

For the treatment of piroplasmosis in dogs, veterinarians prescribe specific antibacterial drugs (imidosan, pyrostop, imidocarb, forticarb). The scheme, the duration of the course of treatment, the dosage of drugs should be prescribed only by the attending veterinarian. The drugs are administered by injection, in / m, one to two times a day, depending on the severity of the disease.

Important! It is not necessary to self-medicate, delay to the last visit to the veterinary clinic. Self-medication can only aggravate the condition of the animal!

It must be borne in mind that drugs that act on parasites are very toxic, can cause complications, so an additional vet will select a therapeutic diet for dogs. Symptomatic drugs - hepatoprotectors, heart drugs, premedication, antispasmodics, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to eliminate the clinical symptoms.

Treatment of piroplasmosis in dogs necessarily includes infusion therapy (droppers). with a favorable outcome, the dropper is prescribed on the fourth or sixth day after the start of the treatment course. Droppers help cleanse the body, relieve signs of intoxication, free the body from toxic decomposition products of iron-containing hemoglobin protein.

Important! In dogs who have had piroplasmosis, persistent immunity is not formed, so re-infection should not be excluded. Nonspecific immunity lasts one to two years.

What is piroplasmosis and what is dangerous

The main intermediate hosts of B. сnis or piroplasmosis are homeless and domestic dogs, but foxes, wolves, jackals and raccoon dogs, as well as other members of the canine family, also have a susceptibility to the pathogen.

They tolerate babesiosis and are the main hosts of piroplasmosis - ixodic and argas mites.. The life cycle of the pathogen is a change of intermediate and definitive hosts.

Piroplasmosis is very dangerous for vertebrate animals. Severe parasitic disease is accompanied by the destruction of red blood cells. If relatively recently such a disease was purely seasonal, then environmental and climatic changes on our planet provoked a prolonged period of exposure to the disease.

Кроме всего прочего, раньше наиболее высокий риск заражения отмечался при пребывании домашнего питомца вне городской черты, а совсем недавно удалось установить, что не меньшая опасность подстерегает питомцев при выгуливании на территории городских скверов и даже во дворах.

Это интересно! Несмотря на очень распространенное в нашей стране мнение собаководов, клещи, являющиеся основными переносчиками заболевания, не падают на шерсть домашнего питомца с дерева, а скрываются на траве, где и ждут свою жертву.

In the past few years, the geography of the mass distribution of piroplasmosis has also significantly expanded, so this disease is currently almost universally encountered. Congenital or acquired resistance to the causative agent of babesiosis, domestic and wild dogs do not possess.

Late diagnosis of the disease, as well as the lack of qualified therapy, most often becomes the main cause of death of the animal, so treatment should be started within the first two days after the appearance of the very first signs of infection.

How does the infection occur?

Dogs are infected with piroplasmosis by being bitten by their infested tick. The whole process of the development of the disease takes place in several basic and fairly rapid stages. Piroplasmosis trophozoites are single-celled, round-shaped organisms that develop inside the erythrocytes and feed on the hemoglobin they contain.

Reproduction of trophozoites is carried out by simple division, after which all the resulting drop-shaped cells fall inside the erythrocytes. With a large accumulation of such cells, the red blood cells are completely destroyed, and the trophozoites enter directly into the blood. In the process of feeding the tick with the blood of an infected dog, the erythrocytes filled with trophozoites enter the body of the ectoparasite.

Ticks are able to exist for a long time without food, and throughout this time babesia remain inside the ectoparasite in an inactive state. At the initial stage, the tick looks for a suitable place for nourishment for several hours, then bites through the skin with a discharge of the so-called cementing and anesthetic secret. This stage, as a rule, lasts for about a day, and is not accompanied by blood absorption. During this period, the risk of infection of the dog by piroplasmosis is minimal.

Then comes the stage of lysis or slow feeding, in which the ectoparasite oral apparatus prepares for the destruction of large blood cells with the formation of a granuloma around the bite of a specific seal. As soon as the tick begins to actively absorb blood, the risk of babesium entering the bloodstream of a pet significantly increases.

It is interesting! It should be noted that infection with babesiosis can occur not only when a pet bites an ectoparasite, but also as a result of a dog bite, if one of the animals is a passive carrier of piroplasmosis.

Preventive measures

The most effective preventive measures include vaccination and the use of protective agents that significantly reduce the risk of a pet bite by infected ectoparasites.

Currently used vaccines are designed to reduce the severity of the development of various serious complications in an animal in case of infection, as well as to prevent death. The disadvantages of such vaccines include the development of a clogged pattern of external symptoms in the disease and the complication of laboratory diagnosis. Also, in the case of vaccination, the risk of missing the onset of the disease increases many times over.

Among other things, such vaccines do not provide complete protection against infection, but they can put a greater burden on liver tissue.. The most common vaccines include "Pirodog" and "Nobivac-Piro", which are widely used in regions with a high risk of infection of animals with piroplasmosis. Most often, repellents and other chemical means of protecting an animal from bites by ectoparasites are considered as preventive measures:

  • carrying out external treatment with special preparations that have a repellent or killing effect on ticks. The level of effectiveness of timely and thorough processing is approximately 80-90%. Such products include drops, repellent sprays and special collars.
  • The use of some specific drugs based on the active component of methyl sulfate metal shows high efficacy when used immediately prior to transporting the dog to the hunting ground, where there is a high risk of infecting the animal with infected ticks and infection with pyroplasmosis. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the toxicity of the applied therapeutic agents,
  • The pre-treated high-efficiency forms of drugs that are actively used as a preventive measure for the contamination of pets with piroplasmosis include the drug Bravekto, which is popular among the breeders of our country.

In recent years, special clothing designed for walking dogs and effectively protecting a pet from tick bites has been in great demand.

Prevention of obtaining complications from a pet when infected with piroplasmosis involves the observance of several basic rules:

  • treatment of an infected pet should be started as soon as possible,
  • the intensity of the treatment, even with the course of the disease in a mild form, is a guarantee of complete recovery,
  • compulsory use in the treatment of alkalizing therapy helps to protect the body's excretory system,
  • the use of therapeutic plasma cleansing often becomes the most effective method of therapy,
  • daily blood sampling for testing until complete stabilization of the animal's health condition allows you to adjust the selected treatment regimen,
  • regular measurement of urea and creatinine in the blood contributes to the correct assessment of the effectiveness of the treatment complex,
  • systematic calculation of the functional state of the kidneys helps to correctly determine the state of the excretory system.

Daily monitoring of the condition of the body of a sick dog by means of urine and blood tests makes it possible to select the most appropriate and highly effective therapy, as well as prevention, which reduces the risk of severe complications in the treatment of pyroplasmosis.

The dog was bitten by a tick - what to do?

You should not try to extract the insect yourself, especially if its size is already impressive and there is access to a veterinary specialist. Call a veterinarian - a veterinarian will do it quickly, painlessly and safely. Further, an inspection will be conducted upon appeal and instructions will be received on what to do next.

It is important not to forget that the incubation period of piroplasmosis varies from 1 to 21 days - during this time after the removal of the tick, the pet should be closely monitored.

What to do if a dog tick bite was detected?
  • First, do not panic.
  • Secondly, it is enough to visit a veterinary clinic as soon as possible and conduct a full inspection of the animal.

Depending on what will be revealed during the examination, you should listen to all the instructions of the veterinarian. In some cases, treatment may be necessary in case of a disease or drug prophylaxis in case of suspicion, in others - the dog will be sent home with admonition of close attention for the pet during the entire incubation period (3-21 days after the bite).

As soon as the first signs of the disease were noticed, even remotely: lethargy, high fever, yellowish tinge of mucous membranes and whites of the eyes, any changes in urine color and vomiting “something yellow” - immediately bring the dog to the veterinary clinic!

Are there pills for piroplasmosis? How do they work?

There are no pills directly from the disease. A number of drugs that have insecticide-anthelmintic action, including protection against ticks (insect-acaricidal action) have been registered. These drugs include:

  • Bravekto,
  • Frontline Nexgard,
  • Nexgard Spectra,
  • Front Line Tri-Act,
  • Simparica,
  • Credelio,
  • Bravekto.

What do manufacturers of these drugs mean by tick protection? Tick ​​dies strictly after being bitten for 8-10-12 h (depending on the name of the drug), and the tick does not protect the tick from the attack itself. What does it mean? That during the specified time, while the parasite is “killed”, it still sucks blood and infects the animal with piroplasmosis. Dog owners need to understand that such tablets alone are not enough to fully protect pets from piroplasmosis!

Ixodic tongs

Ixodic tongs - definitive owner babeziy, and animals - intermediate. In the body, tick enters the salivary glands, from which it infects the blood of the animal when tick bites. Due to the fact that babesia can be transmitted from ticks transovarially from offspring to offspring, tick infestation with babesia is constantly growing. The most common factor in babesiosis transmission is Dermacentor reticularis tick. In addition, ticks of the genera Rhipicephalus and Haemaphysalis can be carriers.

Presumably there is a vertical method of transmitting pathogens - from mother to fetus. This can be confirmed by the cases of detection of the pathogen Babesia сanis in the mother and in the puppy at the age of 36 hours, as well as the detection of Babesia gibsoni in the three-day puppies and their mother.

Infection through blood transfusion is possible.

Course and clinical signs

Babesiosis (piroplasmosis in dogs)extremely dangerous disease, in acute for a couple of days, the animal fades away and can be fatal. More severe course in puppies and young, purebred dogs. In dogs older than 4 years is easier. In yard dogs, it can become chronic with periodic relapses and prolonged recovery (up to 3 months).

Incubation period and first symptoms

Incubation period disease amounts to 10-14 days, therefore, if a tick is not found on the dog’s body, the diagnosis is not excluded. There are frequent cases when the tick was not seen on the dog’s body at all, but the smear on babesiosis is positive.

  • The first symptoms of babesiosis with a typical acute course are feverThe temperature can reach 41-42 degrees (with an upper limit of 39.0) and stay at this level for several days.
  • Failure to feed
  • Great lethargy

As the disease progresses, piroplasmosis in dogs (babesiosis) has such typical clinical signs.

  • Yellowing of the sclera and mucous membranes
  • Brown urine
  • The pulse becomes weak, filiform, and breathing - heavy and accelerated
  • The weakness of the hind legs is also characteristic, up to paresis - the animals cannot walk and constantly lie, in a short time they cannot even rise
  • Diarrhea and vomiting may occur.
  • Often note polydipsia - increased thirst
  • On palpation, there is pain in the liver, pancreas, kidneys.

The disease lasts 5-9 days and often ends in death in spite of all efforts.

The sooner the diagnosis is established, the easier and more productive the treatment will be, and the higher the chance of a full recovery. If it is warm outside and the dog is sluggish, more often lies and eats little - it is better to be safe and check. As they say, it is better to perebdet than nod.

Recently, an atypical course of the disease is often observed, in which the condition of the dog is quite vigorous, and the manifestation of the disease is limited to a slightly increased temperature and refusal of food.

The reason for the complex treatment of the disease is that

  • Babesia, parasitizing in erythrocytes (red blood cells), massively destroy them, leading to anemia and hemolytic jaundice (during the breakdown of erythrocytes, bilirubin is released, which has a yellowish color, from which yellowing of sclera and mucous membranes).
  • At the same time, the number of red blood cells and the hematocrit index decrease by 2-3 times in the blood. This is revealed by a general blood test, and in combination with clinical signs, it may suggest babesiosis.
  • Also with babesiosis, thrombocytopenia is observed in the general blood test. Significant release of hemoglobin and bilirubin in the urine gives it a reddish-brown hue (hemoglobinuria).
  • Anemia leads to hypoxia of the animal, which reflexively causes an increase in the rate and deepening of breathing, an increase in the rate of heartbeat (tachypia and tachycardia).
  • An increase in the minute volume of blood and an increase in the blood circulation speed leads to an overload of the heart muscle and its compensatory hypertrophy (thickening of the heart walls).
  • Disturbance of metabolism in cells leads to the accumulation of toxic products. In addition, in the process of life babesia emit toxic substances.
  • As a result, the general intoxication of the organism occurs, and if treatment is not started on time, dystrophic and inflammatory processes in the liver, pancreas, kidneys begin, all kinds of exchanges are disturbed - carbohydrate, fat, protein, mineral.

Drugs for treatment

  • These are drugs like azidine, imizol, pyro-stop and some others. These drugs are specific specifically for babesiosis. Usually, the condition of the animal after the injection may worsen for a short time, but this is normal and caused by the mass death of babesies and their release from the body. At the same time, the drug itself, of course, is not useful for the body of the animal. For this reason, may be appointed hepatoprotector even if the sclera and mucous membranes are not yellow.
  • If babesia in the smear is not detected, and a dog without a cause is sluggish and does not eat, it is better to do a second analysis the next day, limiting ourselves to temporarily symptomatic therapy, since the absence of babezium in a smear may mean that the titer in capillary blood is not high enough, and not the absence of babezii in the body. If the symptoms are pronounced, it is better to make an injection - the drug's toxicity is not so terrible compared to the possible consequences of babesiosis. But in no case should not use the drug as prevention.

Complications and consequences of the disease

Among the possible complications of babesiosis - renal, hepatic, heart failure. Sometimes animals may remain disabled due to hind limb paresis.

Immunity to babesiosis is not produced, so the dog can hurt them more than once or twice in his life. Non-sterile immunity may last for about a year, but if the dog had babesiosis provoked by Babesia sanis, this does not exclude the possibility of infection with Babesia gibsoni. More importantly, infection by one of the subspecies of Babesia canis does not exclude infection by another of its subspecies (Babesia canis canis, Babesia canis rossi and Babesia canis vogeli), but still in Europe and Asia only the subspecies Babesia canis can be found. The subspecies that causes the most severe course of babesiosis - Babesia canis rossi, is found only in Africa. The easiest course causes the subspecies Babesia canis vogeli, which is found in the USA, as well as in the tropics and subtropics.

Mortality from babesiosis without treatment is close to 100%.

Babesiosis Vaccine

There is a babesiosis vaccine - French Pirodog and Dutch Nobivac Piro. But the effectiveness of these vaccinations is questionable - the information about them is too controversial, contradictory. If there is an opportunity to vaccinate, there will be no harm. But this does not mean that treating a dog regularly with insecticide-acaric drugs is not necessary. At the same time, in the instruction itself it means that the vaccine is valid if the dog has not yet suffered babesiosis. Also in the instructions means that the vaccine is not a therapeutic drug. The babesiosis vaccine only protects against Babesia sanis, and this protection does not always work out completely - the dog can get sick, but the course will be easier. The vaccine is valid for only six months, but this just covers the period of peak activity of ticks. Before the introduction of the vaccine, you need to make sure that there is no babeziy in the animal's body. The dog must be clinically healthy.

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Period of tick activity

What is piroplasmosis in dogs

With the first warm rays of the spring sun and the appearance of thawed on the snow, dog owners must prepare for the many dangers that await pets in the summer.

The threat in the form of a small bug, ixodic tick, awaits them everywhere: dry grass, bushes, thickets, flower beds and uncut lawns, in general, everywhere where there is vegetation. Pets are particularly at risk while resting with their host in nature, in the forest, in the park and near water.

Tick ​​activity has a pronounced seasonal-peak character (autumn-spring period): March - June and August - October, before the first frosts. During this period, dog breeders need to be especially vigilant, reduce walks with a pet in dangerous areas to a minimum, regularly treat with ectoparasites and inspect the skin after each walk.

Ticks in a dog, or what is piroplasmosis?

Ixodic tick - insect parasitic on the body of animals. He is a carrier of the deadly disease piroplasmosis (babesiosis).

Biting the victim, the mite injects a pyroplasm, which, along with saliva, enters the bloodstream. As a result of the bite, the process of destruction of red blood cells begins, a large amount of hemoglobin is released (urine becomes reddish-brown), which leads to problems in the functioning of internal organs. Without proper and timely treatment, the animal may die.

Piroplasmosis in dogs photo ixodic tick

Собака не чувствует укуса поэтому не может самостоятельно убрать насекомое, поскольку клещ своей слюной парализует участок кожи и животное не чувствует его присутствия.

Having found a parasite on the body of a pet, you can determine the state in which it is, and accordingly, how much damage has been done to health.

Hungry ixodic tick brown or black, no larger than 4 mm. It has a flat, drop-shaped body on top covered with armor completely in males, and a third in females, head with proboscis and 8 paws-hooks.

When the tick gets drunk with blood, the body takes on a light gray color, becomes elastic, increases in size significantly, and looks like a pea.

Unfortunately, all dogs, without exception, can get piroplasmosis. At risk can include puppies and ornamental breeds, because they are threatened with complications from the disease. For example, hunting breeds are more often than others in forests and fields, where there is a lot of dry grass, and therefore ticks. The owner of such a breed simply does not have the right to take him into the forest without first treating with an anti-tick agent.

The incubation period, with the proliferation of parasites in the body, usually lasts from 2 days to 2 weeks. If the sick animal does not receive the necessary assistance in time, it dies within 4-5 days from the moment the first symptoms of the disease appear.

If the tick is not a carrier of the virus, its bite can cause an allergic reaction on the skin, itching and redness. Therefore, every responsible breeder is obliged to take care of prevention, to be able to recognize the symptoms of the disease and know how to behave if a dog has been bitten by a tick.

What to do if a dog is bitten by a tick

Found a dog tick. What to do? How to pull a dog tick?

While relaxing in nature, walking in the woods or in the park, a responsible dog breeder should not forget about safety measures. It is enough for you to examine the skin 1 time at 2 o'clock, since, having got on the body of an animal, the tick crawls around the dog for 2 hours in search of the most unprotected place on the skin. Therefore, being in nature, do not be lazy and inspect the pet for the presence of a parasite.

Photo mites in dogs (piroplasmosis in dogs) - mite

In any case, after each walk, you must inspect the animal, and make sure there is no tick. Places where ticks are most commonly found: head, eyes, muzzle, neck, forelimbs, dewlap, groin area, abdomen, armpits.

Having found a tick, do not panic, put on rubber gloves and use tweezers or special tools to remove ticks (Tick Twister, Tick Away, etc.) in a circular motion to unscrew it from the skin. No need to water or lubricate the mite with vegetable oil or kerosene, and even more so it is not necessary to cauterize it and thereby frighten the pet.

Inspect the bite site, if there are no heads or particles of the beetle, they must be removed. Treat the wound with iodine or any antiseptic.

The next few days, monitor the state of health, noticing any changes in the behavior or health of the pet, immediately contact your veterinarian for help. Only timely treatment will help save the health and life of your pet.

Piroplasmosis in dogs (babesiosis) - symptoms and diagnosis

  • Lethargy
  • Apathy to everything that happens
  • Refusal from food and drink
  • High body temperature (39-42 degrees for 2-3 days)
  • Red brown urine
  • The dog can not stand on its hind legs.
  • The whites of the eyes become yellow.
  • The mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes are pale
  • Disruption of housing and communal services (vomiting, diarrhea with blood)

Having noticed similar symptoms, once again examine the dog's skin for the presence of a parasite, you may have missed something, and immediately go to the vet. He needs to take blood for analysis in order to diagnose piroplasmosis in a dog, and prescribe the correct treatment.

During the treatment of piroplasmosis in dogs, veterinarians use special preparations against the virus itself and anti-inflammatory drugs, conduct a comprehensive treatment to reduce the intoxication of the body, and support the work of the liver and kidneys.

You should understand only with timely medical treatment, the dog has a chance to survive and improve health. Therefore, never treat yourself.

What is the danger of piroplasmosis in dogs, what changes occur in the body of a dog with piroplasmosis?

Photo of ixodic tick

A dog bitten by an Ixodes tick is at great risk, as the virus, penetrating into the red blood cells, begins to multiply in them. As a result, the red blood cells are destroyed, releasing a large amount of hemoglobin, which the kidneys and other organs do not have time to process.

Hemoglobin disintegrates directly in the bloodstream, and since its decomposition products are toxic, this leads to disruption of the normal functioning of vital body systems. Intoxication of the body violates the vascular conductivity, which leads to cardiovascular failure. Owing to anemia, oxygen starvation of internal organs occurs, the liver collapses, pulmonary edema begins, even if recovery occurs, complications are possible.

Unfortunately, many animals have paid with their lives for late treatment or an incorrect diagnosis.

Piroplasmosis in dogs - how to feed a sick animal?

The first adviser in this case is, of course, your veterinarian. The doctor should advise a sparing diet to maintain and restore the functions of the body.

During the period of illness the dog has no appetite, and she even refuses to drink, therefore, you need to control his health.

During the day, inject water into the mouth, in small portions using a large syringe (without a needle).

As a dinner, it is recommended to give soft pasty food (pate, wet food or canned food). Their meaty flavor should make the olfactory and taste buds work, and there is a chance that the dog will at least try the food.

A sick dog with piroplasmosis is much easier to lick off such food. Start with small portions (1-2 tablespoons), and as your appetite increases, gradually increase the number of servings.

If the dog categorically refuses to eat, do not force. But be sure to drink regularly.

Believe me, when the pet goes on the mend, he will ask to eat, because the animal's body works according to the principle “I need to eat in order to live.”

Piroplasmosis (babesiosis) in dogs: prevention

In order to minimize such a phenomenon as a dog's mites and to protect as much as possible from the attack of arachnids, every breeder should regularly treat him with ectoparasites. The owner must understand there is no full guarantee that the treated dog will not get sick. But to use drugs to reduce the risk of tick attack is necessary.

To date, there are many tools, and it is up to you to decide which one is right for your pet.

Remedies for ticks:

  • Drops on withers (applied 1 time in 3 weeks). Before applying the drops, the dog must be bathed 48 hours before the treatment, in order to form sebum for better absorption of the drug. After applying do not bathe for 10 days, so as not to wash off the drug.
  • Spray (valid for 1-3 weeks, handle before walking and do not allow licking. We also recommend processing clothes and lounger.)
  • Collar (valid with constant wear). Some dogs may have an allergic reaction, but when going out in nature it must be worn 3-5 days before the trip.
  • Tablets (action 3 months) do not give without prior consultation with a veterinarian.
  • An injection for prophylaxis and treatment (its disadvantage is that the drug itself does not deter ticks, it only fights with piroplasm, which is transmitted by the parasite. In addition, it can cause a side reaction). Basically, hunting breeds or dogs that spend a lot of time in the forest are treated in this way. But they need to be used only after consulting a veterinarian, since such drugs have an adverse reaction.

If you are the owner of a hunting breed or you have a long rest in nature or in the countryside, you can combine 2 means if necessary.

In this case, be sure to consult with the veterinarian in which sequence each drug is used, and most importantly, the doctor should advise drugs consisting of different components, no matter what the intoxication of the body occurs.

Remember the surest prevention is to regularly check the skin for the presence of a tick, despite regular treatment, and if possible not to walk with your pet in dangerous places, at least during a period of particular activity.

May your pets be healthy and happy.