Tick Fever (Babesia & Ehrlichia disease)


Tick fever is common in HK. A tick will bite your dog and infect him with a blood parasite. Frequently you will not see the tick.
There are two important parasites that can infect your dog here in Hong Kong. Babesia Gibsoni and Ehrlichia Canis.
Babesia is a parasite of the red blood cells that causes them to break down. Ehrlichia is the other parasite that targets the white blood cells.

Symptoms:
Fever, pale mucous membranes, swollen lymph nodes and spleen. Yellow or dark coloured urine. Loss of appetite and weakness. This is a lethal disease in many dogs and treatment is essential.

Diagnosis:
We can often see the parasites in the red blood cells on a blood smear under the microscope. We can also ask for a lab test done that looks for the parasites DNA but is a lot more expensive.

Therapy:
Tick fever dog will need to take a series of injection and oral medications. if your pet is seriously ill and many red blood cells have been destroyed, we may need to perform a blood transfusion and hospitalisation. Also a course of injections and antibiotics will be necessary. Sometimes we find the infection is very resistant and a course of very expensive medication will be necessary.