Harry – Biliary Fever


Microscope image of the Babesia parasite in red blood cells

Warm moist weather at the beginning and end of the rainy season is what ticks need to survive. Ticks can transmit disease to your dogs.  A common one is canine babesiosis.  This is similar to malaria in humans. The incubation period is around fourteen days from bite to onset of disease. It is a blood parasite that causes destruction of red blood cells with consequent anaemia. This can be fatal.

Harry a Labrador came in to Alphen Vet in September 2012 with symptoms of lethargy and he had stopped eating. A quick blood smear was performed in our in house laboratory that revealed he had biliary fever. As this was caught early the solution was easy. Two injections and Harry was as right as rain! If an owner notices symptoms of lethargy and lack of appetite an immediate visit to the vet is critical. If not, the result can be life threatening with intensive care treatment being need.  Some of these dogs require blood transfusions with our in house Rottweiler donors, Dumi and Lewa being available to donate.