Haemobartonellosis is a tick and flea transmitted disease that affects both dogs and cats. Haemobartonellosis in dogs is caused by Mycoplasma haemocanis, previously it was known as Haemobartonella canis, which have an affinity to red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen. That is why, they are also known as hemotrophic Mycoplasmosis. Mycoplasma haemocanis is not a typical bacteria, but it belongs to a group of microorganism called Mycoplasma.
How does Haemobartonella transmit?
The way of transmission of this disease to other animals is mainly due to ticks & fleas that have fed off of other infected animals and in blood transfusions where infected blood from one animal is transfused to an uninfected animal. When tick or flea suck blood from your pet Haemobartonella are passed on. It can also be spread through fighting between animals (body fluid exchange). In cats, the organism can also be spread from the queen -mother cat- to her kittens.
What are the clinical signs of Haemobartonellosis?
- Lack of appetite
- Lethargy or depression
- Whitish or pale mucous membranes - Hemolytic anemia
- Weight loss
- Death may occur in severe cases
How does Haemobartonellosis diagnose?
A drop of blood is spread over a microscope slide, stained and viewed microscopically; Haemobartonella may appear in chains or as individual organisms across the surface of the red blood cells. The number of organisms in the bloodstream can fluctuate dramatically. There can be many observed in one sample, and a sample taken two hours later may reveal none. Therefore; the blood smears should be made immediately after a sample is collected. Haemobartonella felis
How does Haemobartonellosis treat?
- Tetracycline - 20-22 mg/kg, 3 daily for 21 days
- Chloramphenicol - 20 to 22 mg/kg, 3 daily for 21 days
- Glucocorticoids – 1mg/kg
- Fluid and nutritional support may be necessary, depending on the severity
How does Haemobartonellosis prevent?
Control of ticks & fleas: ticks and flea repellant or tick collars for dogs can be used for this purpose.
Can people get Haemobartonellosis?
No evidence reported.