Babesiosis – what is it?
Babesiosis is a potentially serious malaria-like illness and is one of the most dangerous tick-transmitted diseases in dogs. The disease spreads in a similar way to how humans catch malaria from mosquitoes.
The disease has recently been found in the UK and is expected to spread from its current focus in Essex.
What to look out for
The disease starts with fever, followed by lethargy, reduced appetite and a red/brown discolouration of urine. Further signs to look out for include vomiting, fainting, oedema, bruising, weakness, pale gums and jaundice. Please call us immediately if you suspect your dog may have the disease.
Can humans get babesiosis?
The dog strain of the disease caused by Babesia canis is not thought to present a risk to human health. It is also not thought to pose a risk to other pet species such as cats.
What you can do to help prevent your dog contracting Babesiosis?
There are no vaccines available in the UK for babesiosis. Treatment is focused on killing the parasite within 24 hours to prevent the dog’s immune system from destroying red blood cells. Prevention is based on routine use of anti-tick medication and removal of the ticks from dog fur.
Please speak to us about your dogs tick treatment we will be able to advise you on a suitable product to use alongside our standard recommended flea and tick treatments.