Canine babesiosis or piroplasmosis

transmitted by ticks

Canine babesiosis or piroplasmosis

Canine babesiosis or piroplasmosis is a vector-borne disease caused by a protozoan parasite, Babesia spp. Different species of Babesia can be transmitted by the bite of different ticks such as Dermacentor, Rhipicephalus and Ixodes. The parasite develops in blood cells and can cause anemia. Dogs affected by babesiosis are suffering from a high fever, general weakness, loss of appetite and dark or brown colored-urine (sometimes like coffee). The disease generally occurs very quickly and can be fatal for infected dogs. It is a disease requiring urgent diagnosis and treatment. Some Babesia species such as B. microti can be zoonotic. 

Furthermore, with one single bite ticks can transmit several pathogens so it worsens the clinical picture.  

Here are the 3 recommendations you can leverage to protect your dog: 

• Reducing the dog exposure to tick bites: carefully check the possible presence of ticks on your dog after every walk and remove them with care as soon as possible.

• Use a product that repels and kills ticks with proven efficacy.

• Discuss vaccination, when available, with your veterinarian.

Geographical distribution

The incidence of babesiosis in dogs is evolving. Babesia canis was shown to expand its distribution over new geographical territories such as UK (2017) and Denmark (2019). The ornate dog tick (Dermacentor reticulatus) is responsible for its transmission and is one of the fastest-spreading tick species in Europe. In many countries, canine babesiosis is considered as an emerging infectious disease. 

The more you know, the better you can protect your dog. Keep up-to-date to know if you live or plan to travel in a babesiosis risk area by checking the real-time babesiosis world map. 

Discover more about tick-borne diseases such as canine babesiosis with Pr Lukasz Adaszek (University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland). 

Canine babesiosis or piroplasmosis map

Map legend: Autochtonous * Imported ** Unknown ***
* Autochtonous cases are living in endemic area or have no known travel history from endemic area ** Imported cases have a reported travel history from endemic area *** Cases with unknown travel history

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