Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease found throughout the United States, most frequently in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, North-Central US, and California. Both the black-legged deer tick and brown dog tick carry and transmit the bacterial species responsible for causing anaplasmosis.



Anaplasmosis is generally diagnosed when there is a history of exposure combined with clinical signs. Antibody tests can readily demonstrate whether or not your pet has been exposed to anaplasma and clinical signs. Also, specific changes in a complete blood count can be indicative of an active infection. PCR tests can also be helpful to confirm an active infection.


Treatment consists of antibiotic therapy, most common with doxycycline. While dogs with severe clinical signs may require hospitalization, the prognosis is generally excellent with a return to normal activity within the first few days of treatment.


Prevention is key when it comes to tick-borne diseases. It is thought that ticks are able to transmit the bacteria responsible for causing anaplasmosis within the first few hours of attachment. It is, therefore, important that any preventive method result in as fast a tick kill as possible. While repellants can be helpful in preventing tick bites, their efficacy is highly variable and often does not last a full month. Oral tick preventives, such as Simparica and Credelio, have a very fast kill time and have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of anaplasma transmission.