Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog

Piroplasmosis Infections and Babesia in Dogs
Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog
Piroplasmosis in Humans

Humans cannot contract Babesia from a dog

Piroplasmosis Symptoms: Any of the following symptoms are reasons to take your dog to see a veterinarian with immediacy, as well as valid reasons to include Piroplasmosis in conversation with that veterinarian:

  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Weakness of limbs
  • Low energy
  • Poor appetite
  • Limping
  • Improper digestion
  • Muscle quakes
  • Ear twitching
  • Uncontrolled urination
  • Tenderness when touched (particularly back, legs, head, mouth)
  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Breathing problems
  • Skin rashes or infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Spleen enlargement (splenomegaly)
  • Hyper immune response
  • Unconsciousness
  • Muscle deterioration, hemorrhaging and/or death
  • Low organ function or failure
  • Jaundice
  • Anemia
  • Blindness
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Neuropathy
  • High globulins (hyperglobulinemia)

If left untreated, Piroplasmosis can result in death. Until recently, it was believed that dark urine was an indisputable indicator of the disease; however, of the 29 recent cases we’ve seen at Cabinet Veterinaire International, only 1 patient displayed the distinctive brownish urine.

Babesia affects every canine differently, meaning that a dog’s immune system may be able to keep the parasite at bay, making the dog an asymptomatic carrier. Symptoms might come on quickly and severely as a result of stress or other triggers that weaken the immune system. Or, symptoms may be long-lasting and difficult to treat, making Piroplasmosis a chronic illness.

If your dog regularly engages in outdoor activities or spends time with dogs that play outdoors or dogs that have tested positive for Babesia, any of these symptoms should send up a wildly waving red flag.

Piroplasmosis Complications: The death of a fox terrier 48 hours after the first appearance of symptoms proves just how aggressive this disease can be; the fact that this dog was splenectomized proves that in the absence of a spleen, any patient is in serious danger. Moreover, if a dog’s immune system has been compromised in any way or to any degree, Babesia can destroy a larger number of red blood cells with greater ease, making severe Piroplasmosis infection more likely than in a healthy dog.

Piroplasmosis Prevention: The best way to avoid Piroplasmosis symptoms, complications, and treatment is to perform rigorous prevention measures. Check your dog for ticks every day and remove them promptly. Pull them out with a sanitized pair of tweezers, preserve any ticks in a jar of rubbing alcohol, and disinfect the bite sight to prevent skin infection. It is believed that it takes at least 24 hours for any Babesia to be transferred to a current host, so this practice should prevent a parasitic, blood-borne infection.