The erlic, also known as ehrlichiosis or canine ehrlichiosis, is a condition transmitted to dogs by the bite of a tick infected with Rickettias. Once the bacteria enter the animal’s body, it develops within the dog’s white blood cells, affecting them and producing various symptoms that can interfere with the health of the bone marrow and the pet’s immune system.
If treated in time, this condition does not represent a danger, however if it progresses without medical attention it can severely compromise the life of the dog, even leading to death. That’s why in this OneHowTo.com article we explain how to know if your dog has hedgehog, the phases and treatment of this condition as well as the main recommendations to prevent it.
The phases and symptoms of erlic
Ticks can transmit various diseases to our dog, including serious conditions such as Lyme disease or canine ehrlichiosis. The latter occurs when the dog is bitten by a tick infected with RickettiasTherefore, any dog can get this condition unless it is adequately protected against ticks. It is a disease that commonly occurs in hot and humid areas or during the hottest months of the year, although there is also a risk during winter.
Once the infectious agent enters the dog’s body, it will take between 8 and 20 days to incubate to become an intracellular parasite that will inhabit the pet’s white blood cells. When incubation has occurred, the disease will have 3 stages of development:
Acute phase of the erlic
This stage occurs between the first 2 and 4 weeks after infection. During this phase the dog will feel down, presenting symptoms such as:
- Changes in behavior, unexplained aggressiveness may occur.
- Coordination problems when walking.
- In some cases seizures.
If the disease is treated in the acute phase, it has a excellent recovery percentageHowever if the symptoms are overlooked and the dog is not diagnosed it will move on to the next phase. Not all animals present the same signs which can make it difficult to diagnose the condition, however if your dog has recently been bitten by ticks and after a few weeks you notice one or more of these signs, it is important go to the vet.
This eta can last between 1 and 4 months up to several years, everything will depend on how the dog’s immune system is able to fight against the parasite. In some cases it is possible for the dog to eliminate the parasite itself, however most animals will go into the chronic stage.
During this phase, the dog regains the lost weight and returns to its usual state of mind, which is why it is considered an asymptomatic period.
The chronic phase begins once the subclinical phase ends, which can occur months after the bite or, as we have explained in the previous step, after several years. During this stage the dog may present some changes in its weight or small bleeding, signs that may seem irrelevant. In other cases, however, the animal manifests symptoms that show that the parasite has affected the bone marrow and the nervous system, with conditions such as:
- Major bleeding that can occur in areas such as the nose, gums, or rectum.
- Platelet drop leading to weakness and loss of appetite.
- Swollen joints or glands.
- Lameness due to inflammation of the joints.
Depending on the stage in which the animal is diagnosed there will be a greater possibility of recovery without sequelae, however in some dogs it will be impossible to reverse some symptoms. It is important to be aware of the dog’s platelet level, as a significant drop could be life-threatening.
How is this disease diagnosed?
The Ehrlic symptoms They can vary markedly depending on the dog’s age, breed, and general health, which can make diagnosis difficult. However, some data, in addition to the symptoms, may help the veterinarian to suspect this condition, for example:
- Know if the dog has been exposed to ticks recently or a few months ago. If the animal walks a lot in the field, in parks or is in contact with other animals in open spaces, it is important to let the specialist know.
- Know the environment in which the animal lives. This condition is more common in hot, humid climates.
- Explain in detail all the symptoms that the animal has had, the more specific you are, the simpler the diagnosis.
Once the veterinarian has the necessary information, he may choose to perform a blood test on the dog to detect signs such as anemia, low platelets or problems with the bone marrow. Other aspects to be analyzed are biochemical alterations, carrying out a study of biological sera and in some cases bone marrow aspiration in order to find the correct diagnosis.
Treatment for erlic
The canine ehrlichiosis treatment It should be chosen by a veterinarian based on the symptoms and stage of the disease the dog is in. You can choose an oral treatment that usually lasts 30 days or an intravenous treatment of two applications every 14 days.
Additionally, blood transfusions can be applied to those animals with a very pronounced anemia, in addition to assessing the use of corticosteroids for 2 to 7 days in those dogs with a significant decrease in platelets. The prognosis for recovery will depend on the stage in which the pet is diagnosed, as well as its general health.
Currently there is no vaccine against hedgehogTherefore, it is important to take into account preventive measures to avoid the spread of this condition.
Tips to prevent hedgehog
Ticks are one of the most important transmitters of diseases in dogs, so their prevention is essential to avoid dangerous conditions that put our pet’s health at risk.
For prevent erlic we recommend you:
- Check your pet’s coat whenever they go on walks outdoors in areas such as the countryside, mountains or parks, especially those where many dogs go.
- If you detect the presence of ticks it is important to remove them immediately, this could notably prevent the spread of diseases since it is believed that this parasite does not transmit them until it remains fixed for at least 24 hours. In our video how to remove a tick we explain in detail the correct way to do it.
- Use tick prevention products It is essential to prevent the spread of this disease. There are several alternatives on the market, ask your veterinarian which one is the most suitable for your dog.
All these measures must be applied with important attention in the case of dogs that have already had the disease, because usually the environment in which they have been infected does not change and therefore it is advisable to take extra precautions.
If you want to read more articles similar to How to know if my dog has hedgehog, we recommend that you enter our category of Pets.