Animal & Bird Medical Center of Palm Harbor
Medical Database

Infectious Disease


General Information
Babesiosis is a protozoan disease of dogs and cats spread by ticks. It has not been reported in cats common to North America. There are several varieties of Babesia; only three varieties infect the domestic dog and four varieties infect cats.

Anemia (blood loss), the primary sign of infection, may range from no outward signs to severe and even fatal anemia caused by destruction of the red blood cells. The Babesia organism can show up in the bloodstream 1 to 2 days after infection, then disappear for 10 to 14 days before recurring within the red blood cells. It can also spread to the fetuses of an infected mother. Some dogs may be carriers and not show outward signs of illness unless stress causes the infection to flare up and produces visible signs of illness. Infections can recur because immunity does not result from the initial infection. Owners cannot contract the disease directly from their pets.

Important Points in Treatment

1. Laboratory tests are required to confirm the diagnosis and to evaluate the physical condition of the patient. Repeated tests are also required to monitor the response to treatment.
2. Blood transfusions are often required in severe cases for life-saving purposes.
3. Medication: Drugs are available to eliminate the disease. Most of the problems arise from the results of the rapidly developing anemia.

An Important Update From Animal & Bird Medical Center On COVID-19

We are committed to offering a safe and healthy environment for our clients, pets and hospital team here at Animal and Bird Medical Center. The best way to avoid becoming ill is to avoid exposure to the virus. Taking typical preventive actions is key.

In being cautious and mindful of everyone’s safety, we are actively working to minimize your exposure to crowded exam rooms and long waits in the lobby.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some changes to our protocols in-hospital for the time-being…

In order to limit exposure while still providing quality care for your pet, we will be implementing special protocols to keep you safe.

We will have our veterinary technicians get a history of the patient’s symptoms and owner’s concerns via phone prior to coming into the clinic.

Our goal is for you to be able to bring your pet in for medical care but have no risk for you or our dedicated staff of transmitting the COVID-19 virus.

The Doctors and staff are dedicated to making sure your pet’s medical needs are taken care of during this national crisis.

We can still fill prescriptions for pick up, however, for those who prefer, non-narcotic and non-urgent prescriptions can be mailed to your home.

As always, careful hand-washing and other infection control practices can greatly reduce the chance of spreading any disease.