Beatrice was a nine-year-old Yorkshire Terrier. She moved to Hong Kong from the Netherlands with her owner. After living in Hong Kong for a few months, she suddenly collapsed at home one night. She was immediately brought to our emergency service at The Ark Veterinary Clinic. The medical team found out that she was severely anaemic which needed an emergency blood transfusion. Later, she was diagnosed with tick fever. After our medical team at The Ark Veterinary Hospital take good care of Beatrice, Beatrice has now moved back to the Netherlands and enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her owner.
Is there any test for tick fever?
Tick fever is confirmed usually with a test called a Tick fever PCR panel. It’s simply put to check for the presence of the DNA of the organism, which in HK is usually Babesia gibsoni. However Babesia canis and Ehrlichia infections are also possible. Infection with any of the above 3 organisms are classified as 'tick fever'. We send the Tick Fever PCR panel to the lab usually on clinical suspicion and usually after running the in house General Health Profile blood test. Sometimes we can see the Babesia organisms in the red blood cells by looking at a blood smear under the microscope.
Are tick fever parasites getting more resistant to medications?
Yes. It’s similar to how bacterial are getting resistant to antibiotics. The organisms evolve and develop resistance to the medications used. Therefore, it took several rounds of medication before a full recovery.
Will my dog die because of tick fever?
Yes, If tick fever cannot be treated control properly, it has been occurrences of acute illness resulting in death.
Which season is the best for tick fever?
They like summer! Resistant cases of tick fever are becoming more and more common because they are more active in summer. We would like to remind all dog owners to be vigilant with tick prevention all year round as prevention is always better than cure!