Canine Babesiosis and Ehrlichoisis are two tick diseases that can cause seizures in dogs. Although they are two distinctly different diseases they are both carried by the brown dog tick. Both organisms enter the blood stream and can effect the blood cells and the immune system. An infected dog may show no symptoms early in the course of the disease, but over a period of years the organisms multiply within the body and can cause major multiple organ damage.
Identification of tick-borne disease is determined with an Indirect Florescent Antibody (IFA) test. This test will reveal the presence of antibodies to the disease. While a CBC may show blood abnormalities, it is not enough to provide an accurate diagnosis of tick borne disease.
Babesiosis is a protozoan disease that affects the blood causing progressive anemia. As the disease progresses it can affect the spleen, liver, muscles, circulatory, lymphatic, gastrointestinal and respiratory systems.
Ehrlichosis is a rickettsial disease which causes widespread inflammation. In some cases the inflammation involves the brain. Ehrlichosis can also cause low platelets which will result in a bleeding disorder.
Both Babesiosis and Ehrlichosis respond very well to treatment with antibiotics such as Doxycycline.
Berendt, M, Clinical
Neurology in Small Animals-Localization, Diagnosis and Treatment
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Last Updated August 2009