It is summer time and along with those lovely long days and walks with our best friends we have to contend with the ticks that come out of hiding at this time of year. So it’s definitely time for an update on on biliary.
First of all, biliary is caused by a tiny parasite that lives in the red blood cells of dogs. If an infected dog is bitten by certain species of ticks the parasite lives and breeds in the tick and can then be introduced directly into the blood of the next dog bitten by that tick.
In many situations the parasites grow and reproduce very quickly, and as they expand so the red cells that nurtured them are damaged and die. This has clinical significance along three main pathways:
- Anaemia – due to a lack of red cells with difficult respiration, tiredness and an inability to thrive
- Severe anaemia with depression and fever. This is a dangerously sick dog requiring expert veterinary treatment to kill off the parasites, fluids to make good the massive fluid losses, and various other methods to improve the chances of saving a life.
- Auto-immune complications. A common occurrence with biliary where the dog’s own system believes some of the damaged blood cells to be foreign products and consequently attacks them as invaders. This is an alarming situation which may lead to death quickly. Vets use massive doses of anti-inflammatory drugs to counter this problem.
Prevention is very important and here we have to look at methods of poisoning the ticks that transmit the parasites. These include dips, shampoos, sprays and pour-on drugs.
My general feeling leans more towards natural methods, but we have to use the heavy methods to control the ticks as nothing is available in the natural ranges to control the ticks really well. At present I favour the application of paraciticides by drops on the back of the neck.
These seem to be less toxic and are simple to use. The success rate is very effective.
For my own clients, before retirement, I was happy to directly discuss and compound a homoeopathic complex that may assist specifically, particularly in multi-dog and plot/farm situations, by improving immunity. Speak to your homeopathic vet.
This is an attempt at improving canine immunity against Babesia parasites. It is not a guarantee to do so, nor has it been proven in the laboratory.