Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
I am not sure what specific question you have with regard to Babesiosis. In general Babesiosis is an intraerythrocytic parasitic disease (this means lives inside a red blood cell) caused by a protozoal agent of the genus Babesia. The merozoite or piroplasm is the stage that infects mammalian red blood cells resulting in hemolytic anemia. With the advent of PCR technology and DNA sequencing, several different species are now recognized for which treatments may differ. Do you know what type of Babesia your dog may have? The most common clinical signs include anemia (low red blood cells), thrombocytopenia (low platelets), fever and splenomegaly (enlarged spleen) are all are fairly consistent findings, regardless of type of Babesia, geographic region, or host species.
Ticks develop infection when taking a blood meal from an infected host. The tick inoculates a susceptible host with infected saliva (so via bite). Transmission of Babesia is primarily via tick bites to a susceptible host although some species of Babesia can be transmitted transplacentally or via bite wounds.
Once the organism is in the blood, multiplication of the organism occurs in circulating red blood cells resulting in destruction of these cells and signs of intravascular and extravascular hemolysis.
The incubation period following inoculation is 10-21 days.
Treatment is fairly specific to the type of Babesia present, which often requires blood work to differentiate.
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