What is canine anaplasmosis [an-uh-plaz-moh-sis]?

Canine anaplasmosis comes in two forms. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an infection of the white blood cells that’s transmitted by the deer tick (also known as the black-legged tick) and the western black-legged tick. These are the same ticks that transmit Lyme disease, which increases the risk of coinfection with anaplasmamosis. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is also a zoonotic disease, which means it can infect people as well as pets.

The other form, Anaplasma platys, is an infection of the blood platelets that can lead to bleeding disorders and is transmitted by the brown dog tick. Although these two forms of anaplasmosis present with different signs, both pose a threat to your dog’s health.

What are the symptoms of Anaplasma phagocytophilum [an-uh-plaz-ma fago-cy-tof-ah-lum]?

Similar to other vector-borne diseases, symptoms of Anaplasma phagocytophilum are often vague and nonspecific. Common signs can include any of the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Lameness, reluctance to move
  • Neck pain or neurologic signs in some cases

What are the symptoms of Anaplasma platys [an-uh-plaz-ma plat-us]?

Symptoms of Anaplasma platys are often very difficult for pet owners to detect or identify as infection. Common signs can include any of the following:

  • Bruising on the gums and belly
  • Spontaneous nosebleeds

Where is canine anaplasmosis found?

Both forms of canine anaplasmosis are found throughout the United States and Canada, wherever there are deer, western black-legged and brown dog ticks. Areas where canine anaplasmosis are more common include the northeastern, mid-Atlantic and north-central states, as well as California. A. platys, specifically, is more common in Gulf Coast and southwestern states. Find out if anaplasmosis is in your neighborhood