Piroplasmosis (also called babesiosis) is a parasitic disease transmitted by embedded full ticks on dogs. This pathology is common and can affect your four-legged friend at any time of the year. If it mainly concerns dogs, cats can also be victims. To avoid possible complications, it is important to take care of them quickly and focus on prevention. How to recognize piroplasmosis? How to prevent it?
Recognize the signs of piroplasmosis
Like Lyme disease or ehrlichiosis, piroplasmosis is a tick-borne illness in dogs. When the tick feeds on your pet’s blood, it introduces babesias or piroplasm into its bloodstream. These microscopic parasites penetrate the red blood cells and destroy them. If this disease is not treated in time, it can then lead to organ damage, even death.
The first signs usually appear between one and four days after the tick bite. They manifest with:
– anemia is characterized by pallor in the lips.
– general signs: fatigue, depression, loss of appetite.
– high fever.
– an abnormal coloring of the urine (orange, red, dark brown).
If you observe worrying symptoms in your animal after seeing ticks on him or a walk in the forest, consult your veterinarian quickly.
Good to know: piroplasmosis is not a contagious disease. It cannot be passed on to other dogs, cats, or humans.
How to protect your dog against piroplasmosis?
The best way to protect your dog from this tick-caused disease is to take preventative measures.
Monitor for the presence of ticks
After each walk, have the reflex to inspect your dog’s coat. The tick can be found in the grass, the hedges, the bushes… Be attentive and carry out the control by caressing, brushing, or washing your animal for example.
The earlier the tick is removed, the lower the risk of contamination. According to one study, piroplasmosis is transmitted approximately eight hours after the bite. That’s why it’s essential to remove it before it starts feeding.
If during your inspection, you notice the presence of ticks, remove them quickly with a tick remover for cats. You can also use an electric tick remover. This device allows the tick to be extracted manually after having applied an electric shock to it. It guarantees total removal of the parasite.
Treat your dog for ticks
Treating your dog for ticks with external pest control products is essential. They exist in several forms:
– The spray: kills ticks by spraying on the entire coat and acts for about 4 weeks. Its application must be renewed regularly.
– The pipette: eliminates ticks while providing preventive action on the infestation for up to 4 weeks.
– The collar: eliminates and prevents the appearance of parasites. Its advantage: it is effective for several months.
– Shampoo: effective treatment against ticks already present and useful in the event of a massive infestation.
Warning: an anti-tick treatment for dogs is not the same for a cat. Before administering it, make sure it is suitable for your companion. Ask your pharmacist for advice if in doubt.
There is also a vaccine against piroplasmosis. This solution is interesting if your pet is regularly exposed to ticks. While it reduces the risk of disease, it is not 100% effective. It is therefore important to remain vigilant and play the prevention card.