Piroplasmosis in dogs: description, treatment, prevention

A serious illness caused by a parasite called Babesia Canis , piroplasmosis in dogs destroys the red blood cells in the animal's body, which leads to serious disorders sometimes leading to death.

Piroplasmosis in dogs

Definition of piroplasmosis

Piroplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that is often found in brush, hedges, grass on country lanes and undergrowth. During walks, this parasite attaches itself to the animal's skin. From there begins the problem. The microorganisms responsible for the disease are contained in the saliva of the mite which, in order to live, needs to feed on the blood of the dog. At the time of taking his blood meal, he will then inoculate him with the bacteria. In the blood, the piroplasms will enter the red blood cells and then destroy them.

Manifestations of the disease

Several symptoms can identify the disease. The dog is first shot and then shows a severe fever. The animal also loses its appetite. Because of the bursting of red blood cells, he suffers from anemia making his mucous membranes very pale. Diarrhea and vomiting appear due to liver poisoning, always caused by the destruction of red blood cells. The kidneys are also affected. The urine turns red, orange, brown or even black. The dog is weak and very tired.

Treatments against piroplasmosis

If carried out at the earliest, the treatment against piroplasmosis is effective. Hence the importance of being attentive to the first symptoms described above, and of going to the veterinarian as quickly as possible. This is because the animal can develop hemolytic anemia, which means that the body itself causes the destruction of its red blood cells. Within 48 hours, the dog can die if left unchecked.

The first treatment to be carried out consists in making injections which will come to eliminate the parasites. To treat renal and hepatic complications as well as to rehydrate the body, infusions are also placed. Finally, the veterinarian can perform transfusions to increase the level of red blood cells.

Tips to prevent piroplasmosis

To prevent the dog from contracting the disease, the safest solution is to carry out an antiparasitic treatment. There are several products to use in this context. Among them are pipettes which deposit a protective film on the body and protect the animal for several weeks. The use of necklaces is also interesting, because the protection lasts for many months. Finally, it is possible to use sprays that must be sprayed regularly on the body of the animal.

Piroplasmosis often appears during certain risky periods: from March to June and from September to December. It will therefore be necessary to carry out the antiparasitic treatment at this time.

Note that there are also vaccines that help prevent the disease. It is advisable to do it from the youngest age of the animal (preferably between 8 and 10 weeks) to benefit from better efficiency. You should know that in addition to being expensive, this vaccine is unfortunately not 100% effective. It only helps to reduce the risk of contamination.