- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Blood parasite went up, red blood cells and platelets counts went down - how to treat

September 5th, 2011, 09:20 AM
Hi, i have an 11yrs old jack russel whom is detected with blood parasite in her blood due to ticks. This lead to her feeling lethargic, extremely low platelets counts and low red blood cell count . The condition is called Babesiosis in medical term. The vet treated my dog with steroid, azithromycin and atovaquone for 10days. Seems like the medicine are working and my dog red blood cells and platelets counts went up and she went back to her old self. Those few blood tests taken shows negative results for blood parasite until one month later, her blood test results indicates a lot of blood parasites in her again meaning that her condition has relapse after one month and her platelets counts falls low again. So the vet put her on 15days course with the same medicine this time round. Today is the third day of the 15days course, i will be going back to the vet in a few days to see if the medicine is effiective to bring her plalelets count up again. Understood that these medicine she is taking now is toxic and she is so old, how can i help her? What happen if this second course of medicine is not effective and her condition will relapse again. I am very worried because i dont want my dog to keep take these toxic medicine which leads to liver failure. How can i help her ?

September 5th, 2011, 01:38 PM
Welcome to the board, kcong. Wish we were meeting under better circumstances, though. :o

You don't say what region you live in, but if you're in an area with Babesiosis, you may also have other tick diseases present. Have they checked your JR for other tick diseases other than babesiosis? We often see low platelet counts when the dogs have anaplasmosis, for instance. There's always the possibility that the first course controlled the babesiosis, but now another disease requiring different meds has gotten the upper hand.

Babesiosis is just emergent here, so I don't know much about it. However, it's my impression that the azithromycin and atovaquone combo is less toxic than other choices (clindamycin and quinone, for example). So it sounds like your vet is pretty knowledgable and is looking out for your girl.

I hope this second course of meds has cured her for good, kcong! :goodvibes: Maybe someone else on board will have more info for you! :fingerscr Pls keep us posted on how your girl is doing!

September 6th, 2011, 05:47 PM
i live in singapore with ticks active all year around. Unsure about the presence of anaplasmosis but got ask the vet to run a blood test for that if it is required.

September 6th, 2011, 09:45 PM
Oy! A little out of my area. :o Well, not sure what tick diseases might be in Singapore but it's sure worth talking to your vet about the possibility of some other disease also being present.

In addition you might want to talk to your vet about supplements to protect the liver. I don't have any direct experience with liver supplements but here is a post by one of our members that mentions a few of the more common ones: Your vet should be able to tell you if any of them might be helpful and which might be available in Singapore.

I do hope she's kicked the Babesiosis for good now and recurrence and/or liver damage won't be an issue! :goodvibes: Let us know how the vet visit goes, pls!

September 11th, 2011, 06:15 PM
Hi kcong, so very sorry to hear about your dog :(

I think that when you give steroids along with the tick treatment, it interferes with the treatment. I would want to wean off the steroids, and then continue with the treatment using the other two medicines.

There is a canine "tick list" that discusses these things and their treatment, which you can sign up for here: (see the first link). There are several folks there that were just talking about Babesia treatment.

Some versions of babesia will respond to imdocarb (b. canis), but I don't know if you have the same ones over there as we have over here.

There are some herbs that you can give after treatment that might help keep the babesia away, I don't know. There are others experimenting with other herbal protocols when the antibiotics no longer work. You can ask on the list, and also search the archives once you are signed up.