Blk 1002, Toa Payoh Lor 8, 01-1477, Singapore 319074 Tel: 6254-3326, 9668-6469, 9668-6468.
15 July, 2015
Focus: Small animals - dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles &
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
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).
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
Day 1. Blood test results
before Imizole 0.5 ml SC treatment:
Blood Cells- 9.6 x10^9/L [Normal
Packed Cell Volume= 0.2 [Normal
*Platelets= 64 [Normal range:
No platelet clump seen but few giant
What is the importance of platelets?
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.
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
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
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 Monday,
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.
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2011
Deepavali. Public holiday. Owner stays at home to nurse him.
Good nutrition advised.
Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011
At home. Iron tablets and good food including egg yolk and
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
Friday, Oct 28, 2011. Owner text to request imizole
injection on Saturday
Sunday, Oct 30, 2011
Scheduled for next Imizole (imidocarb) injection SC. Babesia
and Ehrlichia seen on 2nd blood smear on Day 6. Possibly has
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.
White gums. Looks
like the dog has no hope of survival
Day 4 & 5 --->
Day 5 after
imizole injection, Vit K1, hand-feeding & IV amino and
dextrose drips. Smells food but did not eat
Day 4 & 5 --->
Gums are pinker in
colour on Day 5. Imizole is
Day 4 & 5 --->
Day 10 --->
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
More information on tick
fever in the above-mentioned Cocker Spaniel and other
cases is at:
rid of ticks, lice and fleas
Clipping bald is the best advice to reduce
tick and flea numbers.
2015 Fees for clipping bald and deticking
tranquilisation given if necessary, are
$$250 (small breed), $300 (medium breed),
(big breed).Add $100 for sedation as plucking out the
dead ticks dog will be painful.
Guinea pig fur mite removal including clipping: $150