Symptoms and treatment of Canine ehrlichiosis.

Symptoms and treatment of Canine ehrlichiosis.


Ehrlichiosis canis is caused by Ehrlichia canis, an acute or chronic infectious disease that occurs primarily in canines. The main clinical symptoms are fever, vomiting, jaundice, progressive weight loss and severe anemia.


It is mainly caused by Ehrlichia canis, and ticks are the vectors of this disease, which transmit the pathogens they carry to healthy dogs through sucking.

The main symptoms

The incubation period for Ehrlichia canis infection is 8-20 days, and symptoms begin to appear after the pathogen has invaded the blood and lymphoreticuloendothelial system of dogs. Symptoms vary depending on the age, breed, immune status and pathogen of the dog. The course of the disease generally goes through three stages: acute phase, subclinical phase and chronic phase.

Acute phase

For 2-4 weeks, the sick dog will have fever, decreased appetite, lethargy, mucopurulent discharge from the nose and mouth, stiffness, unwillingness to move, edema of the limbs or lower abdomen, cough or difficulty breathing. The dog suffers from reduced disease resistance, systemic lymphadenopathy, spleen enlargement, and thrombocytopenia. Parasitic ticks are often found on the surface of sick dogs in the acute phase.

Subclinical stage

In the acute stage, the dogs died less frequently, and the clinical symptoms of most dogs gradually disappeared and turned into the subclinical stage, and their body temperature and weight would basically return to normal. However, abnormal blood parameters, such as thrombocytopenia and hyperglobulinemia . The subclinical stage can last for 40-120 days, and the dogs that cannot recover are transferred to the chronic stage.

Chronic phase

Sick dogs will show the main symptoms of pernicious anemia and severe wasting. Clinical symptoms include significant spleen enlargement, glomerulonephritis, renal failure, interstitial pneumonia, anterior uveitis, cerebellar ataxia, hyperesthesia, or paralysis. Nosebleeds are common in dogs with long heads.

All dog breeds present with symptoms of hematuria, melena, and ecchymosis of the skin and mucous membranes. Serious abnormalities in blood, all types of blood cells are severely reduced, thrombocytopenia. When the disease is mixed with Babesia, Bartonella blood, etc., the fatality rate is high. Some dogs have round or oval depilation or coat breakage on the skin of dogs, which can merge into flakes when they occur in multiple places, with fine scales or obvious crusts. No itching if there is no secondary infection. There is limited hair loss or papules, and small scabs like blood scabs are formed. Some dogs will lose all their hair and their skin will thicken significantly.

Diagnostic criteria

According to clinical symptoms and epidemiological analysis, combined with blood test and organ compression, the diagnosis of Ehrlichia canis can be confirmed by finding Ehrlichia canis in monocytes.

Treatment method

The drug of choice is tetracycline, and doxycycline can be used when tetracycline cannot be cured. For critically ill dogs, symptomatic treatment should be taken. If conditions permit, blood transfusion, fluid supplementation, and blood supplementation can be used for treatment of sick dogs .

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