Granulocytic anaplasmosis is spread via the tick Ixodes ricinus, which occurs in large parts of southern Sweden, in southern Norway and along the coast up to Helgeland and in large parts of Denmark. Both dog and cat can get sick, but anaplasmosis is more uncommon in cats.
Anaplasmosis is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Transmission from the tick usually takes place after the tick has sucked blood for one to two days.
The incubation period, ie the time from infection to illness, is about 7-14 days. In cases where the infection causes disease, the symptoms are often nonspecific. Common symptoms include fever and general signs of pain, stiffness, tenderness, lameness and reluctance to move.
What can you do yourself?
Preventive treatment consists of avoiding tick infestations with the help of tick prophylaxis in combination with regular, daily examination of the cat’s fur to remove ticks before they have had time to transmit any infection.
When should a veterinarian be consulted?
If the cat develops acute fever and painful acute lameness or if the general condition is severely affected, you should consult a veterinarian the same day.
In an acute stage, especially in the fever phase, bacteria can sometimes be detected inside the white blood cells by means of microscopy or PCR examination (blood test). Specific antibodies to anaplasma can also be measured in the blood.
Detecting antibodies alone, however, is not sufficient for a definitive disease diagnosis as an antibody titer only shows that the cat has ever been exposed to an infection. The antibody titer should therefore be carefully considered in other clinical facts such as anamnesis, symptoms and results from additional studies and test analyzes.
Treatment by a veterinarian
Supportive drops are usually given intravenously, treatment with antibiotics and pain relief.