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Steps you can take to protect your pooch from babesiosis

Steps you can take to protect your pooch from babesiosis

Posted by PetDirect on 10th Apr 2024
Here’s some important information about a recent event that occurred in Canterbury. Unfortunately, a dog recently passed away due to the babesiosis disease. This is the first case of this disease being detected in a dog in New Zealand, and it’s believed to have originated from a tick-borne parasite known as Babesia gibsoni.

The team at Biosecurity New Zealand is currently investigating this issue and has an active surveillance system in place to monitor the situation. It’s important to be vigilant during this time and keep an eye on your furry companions. Each blood test conducted at veterinary laboratories undergoes scrutiny for exotic diseases, so they hope to catch any future cases early.

Step one: Keep up-to-date with flea and tick treatments.
Babesia gibsoni can be transmitted through New Zealand cattle ticks, as well as ticks exotic to New Zealand, such as the brown dog tick. To prevent your pets from contracting this disease, we strongly advise dog owners to ensure their pets are up-to-date with flea and tick treatments.

Step two: Avoid dog bites.
While supervised play with other dogs is generally safe, be cautious of any behaviour that could lead to biting as this could result in the spread of Babesia.

Symptoms of the disease can vary, so it’s important to keep an eye out for any changes in your pet’s behaviour. Chronic cases may cause intermittent fever, lethargy, and weight loss, while acute cases can result in fever, lethargy, and anemia. Unfortunately, eradicating the parasite poses significant challenges, with infected dogs often remaining carriers indefinitely. Certain breeds, including pit bull terriers, staffordshire bull terriers, and greyhounds, are more commonly affected.

If you notice any of the symptoms in your pet or suspect they may be infected, please don’t hesitate to contact Biosecurity NZ immediately at 0800 80 99 66. Let’s all work together to keep our furry friends safe and healthy!
Ensure your pets are up-to-date with these flea and tick treatments.