Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog

Piroplasmosis Infections and Babesia in Dogs
Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog
Piroplasmosis in Humans

Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog

What are the symptoms of Piroplasmosis? Piroplasmosis rarely presents identically in two dogs, and can therefore be difficult to recognize. Some patients will host Babesia and never experience a single symptom. Others will suffer a quick onset of acute symptoms. Yet others will develop chronic disease with profound effects. That’s why Cabinet Veterinaire International recommends having your dog tested and treated in the presence of any of these symptoms:

Reduced hunger; sluggishness; muscle weakness and/or loss of control or dexterity; limping or pain when walking; quivering of the ears or other muscles; uncontrollable urination; skin rashes that cannot be explained; elevated temperature; difficulty in digestion; sensitivity when the head, mouth, back or legs are touched; breathing problems; seizures; loss of vision; shock; or coma are reasons to suspect Piroplasmosis. Additionally, if your dog’s veterinarian detects anemia, low platelet count, high globulin count, low blood pressure, enlargement of the spleen, jaundice, central nervous system depression or difficulties, dysfunction of any organ, heightened immune system reaction, sciatic nerve neuropathy, bleeding and/or death of muscle, protein elevation in blood, or renal failure, prompt testing and treatment is imperative. In the past, dark urine was used as a determining factor when diagnosing Piroplasmosis; however, in 29 recent Piroplasmosis cases at Cabinet Veterinaire International, we found that only one patient had dark urine.

How is Piroplasmosis diagnosed? There are two methods for diagnosing Piroplasmosis. One is the PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, test. The other involves microscopic examination of the dog’s blood for the presence of Babesia in red blood cells. Speak forthrightly with your dog’s veterinarian to determine which test is best for your dog’s situation and understand that treatment is recommend in all cases (particularly because manual, microscopic blood examination is highly dependent upon the proficiency of laboratory personnel).

Are there any conditions that complicate Piroplasmosis? Yes. If your dog has had his or her spleen removed or if the immune system is compromised in any way, it is highly likely that the symptoms of Piroplasmosis will be compounded (as with the case of a splenectomized, 3-year-old fox terrier that died only 2 days after the appearance of the first Piroplasmosis symptoms).

How is Piroplasmosis treated? With a series of injectable medications, administration of fluids, and blood transfusions if necessary. Just as Piroplasmosis symptoms vary widely, every patient’s response to treatment will be unique. Discuss possible side effects with your pet’s veterinarian. Most importantly, seek treatment immediately after noting symptoms that could point toward Piroplasmosis. Bypassing Piroplasmosis treatment is always more hazardous than seeking treatment as a precaution.