Babesia / Bilary
Babesia is a tick borne disease which causes destruction of red blood cells resulting in anaemia and jaundice. Dogs appear depressed, weak and are disinclined to eat. They have pale mucus membranes and often have a fever. The passing of very dark coloured urine is also frequently noted. The disease cannot be passed directly from one animal to another, it is spread by bites from infected ticks.
The Babesia parasite can be seen in the red blood cells of infected dogs, your vet will take a small sample of blood to look at under the microscope if they suspect Babesia.
Treatment can be simple, just an injection to kill the parasites or the infected pet might need some additional support for their liver, for blood loss and for nausea. In very severe or complicated cases intensive supportive therapy will be needed, the pets are hospitalised in our high care ward. Even with rapid and intense treatment there is not always a successful outcome.
As Babesia is spread by ticks, making sure your dog is up to date with their anti-tick treatments and removing any ticks found on your pet as soon as possible can stop the transmission of the parasite to your pet.