Tick Fever (Babesia & Ehrlichia disease)

Tick fever is common in HK. A tick will bite your dog and infect him with a blood parasite. Frequently you will not see the tick.
There are two important parasites that can infect your dog here in Hong Kong. Babesia Gibsoni and Ehrlichia Canis.
Babesia is a parasite of the red blood cells that causes them to break down. Ehrlichia is the other parasite that targets the white blood cells.

Fever, pale mucous membranes, swollen lymph nodes and spleen. Yellow or dark coloured urine. Loss of appetite and weakness. This is a lethal disease in many dogs and treatment is essential.

We can often see the parasites in the red blood cells on a blood smear under the microscope. We can also ask for a lab test done that looks for the parasites DNA but is a lot more expensive.

Tick fever dog will need to take a series of injection and oral medications. if your pet is seriously ill and many red blood cells have been destroyed, we may need to perform a blood transfusion and hospitalisation. Also a course of injections and antibiotics will be necessary. Sometimes we find the infection is very resistant and a course of very expensive medication will be necessary.