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15 July, 2015
  Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles & rabbits
 
Clinical Research - Dog Tick Fever
Tick Fever in a Cocker Spaniel
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS
First written:  29 October 2011
Update:  12 July 2015
 

DAY 1
Thursday, Oct 20, 2011
English Cocker, Male, 2 years, 11 kg
Dog eating less. Not active. The friend suggested taking the dog to see me.
I saw small ticks all over the body. The dog had been to a dog park in Pasir Ris recently/

Very pale gums. Blood test - low haemogloblin, low RBC and low platelets. Blood smear on Giemsa stain showed Babesia gibsoni. Ehrlichia seen. 0.5 ml Imizole (imidocarb) SC given. Dosage is 0.5 ml/10 kg.

IV dextrose and baytril. Vit K1 2 ml IV. Doxycycline 5mg/kg twice a day for 21 days. 10mg/kg twice a day had been proposed by some vet books but this is 4x the standard dose. Multivitamin paste. Vit K1 tablets (1/4 tab/day).

DAY 2
Friday, Oct 21, 2011
Gums still pale. No appetite. Vit K1 2 ml IV and supportive therapy. However the dog barks loudly when the owner came, exhausting himself. Owner brought his liver treats. He ate one.

Day 1.  Blood test results before Imizole 0.5 ml SC treatment:
Liver profile= Normal
Kidney profile= Normal
Hematology
*Hemoglobin- 7g/dL  [Normal range: 12-18]
*Red Blood Cells- 2.8 x10^12/L [Normal range: 5.5-8.5]
White Blood Cells- 13.2 x10^9/L [Normal range: 6-17]

*Packed Cell Volume= 0.19 [Normal range: 0.37-0.55]
Platelets= 52 [Normal range: 200-500]

*Nucleated Red Blood Cells seen [Severe demand for RBC to be released from the bone marrow to replace damaged RBC)
No platelet clump seen

 
DAY 2.  Blood test results 1 day after Imizole 0.5 ml SC treatment:
Liver profile= Enzymes increased
Kidney profile= Normal
Hematology
*Hemoglobin- 7g/dL [Normal range: 12-18]
*Red Blood Cells- 2.9 x10^12/L [Normal range: 5.5-8.5]
White Blood Cells- 9.6 x10^9/L [Normal range: 6-17]

Packed Cell Volume= 0.2 [Normal range: 0.37-0.55]
*Platelets= 64 [Normal range: 200-500]

No platelet clump seen but few giant platelets present
 

What is the importance of platelets?
a) Numbers:
The platelet count gives a general indication of the clotting ability of the blood. If the number of platelets falls below a certain critical level, spontaneous bleeding may occur. A low platelet count may indicate a problem with platelet production in the bone marrow, or may signal the presence of disease that is causing the platelets to be used up or destroyed.  An increased platelet count often reflects excitement, exertion, or an activated bone marrow. In rare cases, an extremely high platelet count may indicate there is underlying bone marrow cancer.

b) Size:
The size of a platelet is related to its age; young platelets are large and plump, and older platelets are generally smaller. This can be important if the platelet count is low; the presence of large, plump, young platelets in the blood indicates that the bone marrow is functioning well, and is responding to the need for more platelets.

c) Appearance:
 Very rarely, bizarre giant platelets, or abnormal immature platelets may be found, and these may signal the presence of an underlying bone marrow disorder or cancer

DAY 3
Saturday, Oct 22, 2011
4PM
The owner came, her friend and the godfather. 2-hour visit. Loud barks. At 7 pm, the 3 visitors left. The dog panted, heart beat very fast, as if he had run a sprint. It was bad. Would he die? I should have allowed a 10-minute visit, not 120 minutes!

Connected IV - glucose 100 ml, then dextrose saline with duphalytes 500 ml. Gave lasix IV. Atropine 0.5 ml IM. By the time I went home, it was past 7 pm.

The owner was prohibited from visiting for the next few days. This dog had a keen hearing as he could hear the owner's voice at the reception area some distance away in the back of the Surgery and started barking non-stop for several minutes.

DAY 4
Sunday, Oct 23, 2011
Morning 10 am. Dog felt well. Barking for a while. Smelt food. Not eating. Hand fed A/D canned food and given water and electrolytes. Passed normal stools when taken out.

DAY 5
Shoreline stainless steel vet operating table can rust if the vet does not bother to maintain it. toapayohvets, singaporeMonday, Oct 24, 2011
IV drip. Blood looked reddish unlike bluish blood for past few days. Good news.
 Alert and standing in cage. I am relieved that the gum looks pinker. Blood test at another lab showed normal platelets but still very low Hb and RBC. I phoned owner to take the dog home at 6 pm to be nursed by owner.

DAY 6
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011
Deepavali. Public holiday. Owner stays at home to nurse him. Good nutrition advised.

DAY 7
Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011
At home. Iron tablets and good food including egg yolk and liver.

DAY 8
Thursday, Oct 27, 2011
At home. I phoned the owner at 6.30 pm
"My dog is very active, hungry and thirsty. I found two ticks, a grey one on her body. I put tick powder onto my bed area." One tube Advantix Spot on had been applied on Day 6. Yet he had two ticks stuck in skin. Otherwise appeared normal.

Scheduled Appointments

DAY 9
Friday, Oct 28, 2011. Owner text to request imizole injection on Saturday

DAY 11
Sunday, Oct 30, 2011
Scheduled for next Imizole (imidocarb) injection SC. Babesia and Ehrlichia seen on 2nd blood smear on Day 6. Possibly has anaplasmosis?

DAY 12
Monday, Oct 31, 2011
Urine to be collected by the owner for urinalysis.

Acute tick fever needs regular monitoring till negative blood test results 2 weeks after the previous test but most owners don't have the time to do so.

Day 1 ---> imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets
  White gums. Looks like the dog has no hope of survival
  imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets
Day 4 & 5 ---> imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets Shoreline stainless steel vet operating table can rust if the vet does not bother to maintain it. toapayohvets, singapore
  Day 5 after imizole injection, Vit K1, hand-feeding & IV amino and dextrose drips. Smells food but did not eat
Day 4 & 5 ---> imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets
  Gums are pinker in colour on Day 5. Imizole is effective.
Day 4 & 5 ---> imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets
Day 10 ---> imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets imizole injection, tick fever, babesia gibsoni, canis, ehrlichia, dog, singapore, toapayohvets
UPDATE 4 YEARS LATER, ON JUL 12, 2015
The Cocker Spaniel is in good health. No more tick fever outbreaks. I vaccinated this dog last year. This was a case where the best friend noticed that the Cocker Spaniel was lethargic and encouraged her friend to get the dog checked.

TIPS FOR VETS
In Singapore, a dog with pale white gums - check for tick fever.

More information on tick fever in the above-mentioned Cocker Spaniel and other cases is at:

http://www.sinpets.com/dogs/20111036babesia-gibsoni-treatment-drug-imizole-success-singapore-toapayohvets.htm

Salivation after de-ticking a dog

Control of ecto-parasites in Singapore

2014 Video: A Cocker Spaniel has ear infections and skin infections from tick bites

2014 Video: An anaemic Jack Russell has tick fever Part 1/4
Video: Part 2/4
Video: Part 3/4
Video: Babesia and Ehrlichia canis smear. Part 4/4. No ticks on body but actually has tick fever disease

2015 Video: An adopted puppy has tick fever. The puppy has recovered fully after the anti-tick fever injections and treatment.

Other videos of interest

Video: RBC shapes and inclusions


Video: A Cocker Spaniel has chronic ear infections and skin infections
 


Getting rid of ticks, lice and fleas
Golden Retriever 24 hours after tick insecticide bath at Toa Payoh Vets
Clipping bald is the best advice to reduce tick and flea numbers.

2015
Fees for clipping bald and deticking bath,  excluding
tranquilisation given if necessary, are $$250 (small breed), $300 (medium breed), $350 (big breed). Add $100 for sedation as plucking out the dead ticks  dog will be painful.
Guinea pig fur mite removal including clipping: $150
 

Video of de-ticking procedures at Toa Payoh Vets at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYP57ikgYtE

Applying tick wash to a dog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv4rR_6WsHg

Webpage: De-ticking at Toa Payoh Vets
Webpage: ACocker Spaniel has tick fever in 2011
Video: New oral product:  Bravecto tablets prevent ticks for 3 months instead of using spot-on insecticide on the neck area, monthly. Contact us to buy this new product. Tel: 6254-3326, 9668-6469

 

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tel: +65 6254-3326 or 9668-6469

 

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