Anaplasmosis Symptoms in Dogs

Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that can threaten the health of pets, humans, and other animals in the United States. In this post, our Cave Creek vets talk about the symptoms of Anaplasmosis in dogs and explain how you can prevent it.


Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria that spreads through bites from infected ticks. This condition has the potential to be serious and can be seen in pets across the US, with higher rates of the disease being reported in the Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast.

The Symptoms of Anaplasmosis in Dogs

In many cases, dogs infected with Anaplasmosis are asymptomatic and don't show any symptoms at all. But, when symptoms do arise they can look like a severe case of the flu. If your pup is suffering from Anaplasmosis, they may exhibit one of these symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Bloody nose
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Lameness
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Meningitis
  • Ataxia
  • Chills

If your canine friend is displaying any of the symptoms detailed above, you should call your vet. Left untreated, Anaplasmosis can result in serious health complications, including respiratory failure, organ failure, and bleeding issues. In very severe cases, Anaplasmosis can be life-threatening for dogs.

How Dogs are Diagnosed With Anaplasmosis

It can be challenging to diagnose Anaplasmosis because its symptoms are generally vague and can be signs of other common diseases in dogs. Knowing where your dog has been and whether your dog may have come in contact with infected ticks can help your vet diagnose your pup's condition accurately.

Give your vet as much information as possible, including where your dog may have come into contact with ticks, the symptoms your dog is displaying, and when the symptoms first started to appear. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis generally become apparent 2 - 4 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick.

If your vet suspects your dog has Anaplasmosis, they will conduct a complete physical examination to look for signs of the disease, and any ticks that may be living on your pup. Your vet may also run an antibody test to determine if your dog tests positive for the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria.

Treating Anaplasmosis in Dogs

Anaplasmosis treatment for dogs generally includes a course of an antibiotic such as minocycline, chloramphenicol, doxycycline, or tetracycline. Most dogs will show a noticeable improvement 24 to 48 hours after starting their antibiotic treatment.

Protecting Your Dog From Anaplasmosis

One of the most reliable ways to help protect your dog from Anaplasmosis is to keep them on year-round tick prevention medications or treatments. Although no tick prevention medication is 100% guaranteed to protect your dog against tick-borne diseases, therefore, diligence is required. Keep your furry friend away from areas where ticks are most likely to be hiding (long grass and brush), and be sure to check your dog daily for ticks so that they can be removed before transmission occurs.

If you find a tick on your dog, you will have to remove it quickly. Call your vet to learn how you can remove ticks in a way that can help prevent the spread of Anaplasmosis or other tick-borne diseases.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog exhibiting anaplasmosis symptoms? Contact our Cave Creek vets as quickly as possible to schedule an appointment.