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Dog Ehrlichiosis

Dog Ehrlichiosis - Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention and Diagnosis of Dog Ehrlichiosis Disease

Dog ehrlichiosis, a tick borne condition, is rare.

Ehrlichiosis is not considered to be either a virus or a bacterium. The organism, which causes dog ehrlichiosis, is known as E. canis or ehrlichiosis canis. The condition is characterized by lethargy, fever, bleeding, and lameness.

This microorganism, which is different from both bacteria and virus, is classified as a rickettsial organism.

E. canis enters the different cellular structures of the body and assumes the behavior of cellular parasites. They feed on the cellular material and may end up destroying the cell completely. The microorganism is carried primarily by the brown tick, which may become a carrier after biting an infected dog, and then passes it to another healthy dog.

In rare cases, the condition may also occur due to transfusion of blood infected by dog ehrlichiosis. The condition is seen in cats as well, but dog ehrlichiosis is far more common. It is more prevalent in middle-aged dogs, though it can also often be seen in young dogs as well. Purebreds are more susceptible to dog ehrlichiosis.

Symptoms of Dog Ehrlichiosis

Dog ehrlichiosis symptoms are different in different dogs. In some dogs, the condition may have very severe symptoms. In severe cases, the disease could become life threatening as well. Some dogs may contract an asymptomatic infection, which continues to persist for years without the dog or the pet owners realizing that there is something amiss. Dog ehrlichiosis disease may get resolved in such dogs without any specific treatments. However, there are some dogs in which the acute signs may progress and develop into chronic infections.
Some of the symptoms of dog ehrlichiosis include lethargy, weight loss, anorexia, depression, fever, bleeding, difficulty in breathing, easy bruising, inflammation in the joints, squinting and swollen glands among many others.

Dog Ehrlichiosis Treatment, Prevention and Diagnosis

Dog ehrlichiosis treatment may only be possible after the condition has been thoroughly diagnosed. The doctor may have to get a complete blood count, a chemical profile of the blood, platelet count, blood protein and urinalysis. X-rays may also be performed to show an enlarged spleen or inflamed liver. The doctor may also perform some clotting tests on the dog. The doctor may choose to perform various serologic testing. After dog ehrlichiosis diagnosis is complete, the treatment may be given to the dog accordingly.
Dog ehrlichiosis prevention is easier than the treatment. The easiest way to do this is to protect the dog from brown ticks that are the most common carriers of the microorganism.

  Submitted on November 4, 2011  

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