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A Select List of Vector-Borne Illnesses in the United States

Disease

Agent

Type of
Microorganism

Vector

Canid or Felid
Reservoir

Canine Lyme disease9,a

Borrelia burgdorferi

Bacteria

Ticks, including Ixodes spp

Unknown

Monocytic ehrlichiosis2

Ehrlichia canis

Intracellular
bacteria

Ticks, including Rhipicephalus


sanguineus

Unknown

Granulocytic ehrlichiosis 2,6,b

Anaplasma
phagocytophilum
(formerly Ehrlichia
phagocytophila and
Ehrlichia equi)

Intracellular
bacteria

Ticks, including Ixodes spp,


Dermacentor variabilis

Unknown

Canine Rocky Mountain


spotted fever c

Rickettsia rickettsii

Intracellular
bacteria

Ticks, including Dermacentor


and Amblyomma spp

Domestic canids

Canine bartonellosisd,e

Bartonella vinsonii
subsp berkhoff ii

Intracellular
bacteria

Ticks and fleas suspected

Wild canids
(coyotes)

Feline bartonellosisd,f

Bartonella henselae

Intracellular
bacteria

Ingested fleas and flea feces;


ticks possible

Wild and domestic


felids

Canine babesiosise,g,h

Babesia gibsoni

Protozoa

Ticks, including R. sanguineus

Unknown

Canine hepatozoonosisi

Hepatozoon
americanum

Protozoa

Ingested ticks, including


Amblyomma maculatum

Unknown

Feline cytauxzoonosise

Cytauxzoon felis

Protozoa

Ticks, including D. variabilis

Wild felids
(bobcats)

Feline hemotropic
mycoplasmosis3

Mycoplasma
haemofelis (formerly
Haemobartonella felis)

Mycoplasma

Unknown; ticks, fleas,


mosquitoes are possible but
unproven

Unknown

Canine visceral
leishmaniasis j

Leishmania infantum

Protozoa

Sand flies, including


Lutzomyia spp

Domestic canids

aLittman

MP: Lyme disease: Diagnosis and treatment. Proc 22nd ACVIM, 2004. Accessed February 2007 at www.vin.com.
NH, Villiers EJ, Herrtage ME: Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia associated with Anaplasma
phagocytophilum in a dog. J Small Anim Pract 46(11):543548, 2005.
c Kidd L, Hegarty B, Sexton D, Breitschwerdt E: Molecular characterization of Rickettsia rickettsii infecting dogs and people in North
Carolina, in Hechemy KE, Oteo JA, Raoult DA, et al (eds): Century of Rickettsiology: Emerging, Reemerging Rickettsioses, Molecular
Diagnostics and Emerging Veterinary Rickettsioses. Boston, Blackwell, 2006, pp 400409.
dGuptill L: Bartonellosis. Vet Clin Small Anim Pract 33:809825, 2003.
e Birkenheuer A: Three emerging vector-borne diseases in dogs and cats in the United States. Vet Med 100(suppl 5):S2S10, 2005.
f Chomel BB, Kastern RW, Henn JB, Molia S: Bartonella infection in domestic cats and wild felids, in Hechemy KE, Oteo JA, Raoult DA,
et al (eds): Century of Rickettsiology: Emerging, Reemerging Rickettsioses, Molecular Diagnostics and Emerging Veterinary Rickettsioses.
Boston, Blackwell, 2006, pp 410415.
bBexfield

Common Clinical Signs


and Laboratory Findings

Diagnostic Tests

Commonly Used
Pharmacologic Treatment

Lameness, malaise, protein-losing


nephropathy

Serology (antibody detection)

Doxycycline 10 mg/kg PO q24h 28 days

Lameness, thrombocytopenia, anemia,


hyperglobulinemia

Serology (antibody detection),


PCR

Doxycycline* 10 mg/kg PO q24h 28 days

Malaise, fever, lameness

Serology (antibody detection),


PCR

Doxycycline* 10 mg/kg PO q24h 28 days

Subclinical; malaise, fever, lameness,


vasculitis, thrombocytopenia

Serology (antibody detection),


histopathology (skin), PCR

Doxycycline 10 mg/kg PO q12h 10 days

Subclinical; lameness, endocarditis,


congestive heart failure; possible
synergistic effects

Serology (antibody detection),


blood culture, PCR

Doxycycline, azithromycin, varying doses


reported; treat 46 wk (superior treatment
protocol not established)

Subclinical; possible synergistic effects

Serology (antibody detection),


blood culture, PCR

Doxycycline,* azithromycin, varying doses


reported, treat 46 wk (superior treatment
protocol not established)

Subclinical; anemia, thrombocytopenia;


severe anaphylactic reaction possible

Serology (antibody detection),


cytology, PCR

Imidocarb 6.6 mg/kg IM once, repeat in 14


days, pretreat with atropine (superior
treatment protocol not established)

Fever, myositis, lameness, leukocytosis,


anemia

Histopathology (muscle), cytology

Triple combination therapy for 2 wk:


Trimethoprimsulfadiazine (15 mg/kg PO q12h),
clindamycin (10 mg/kg PO q8h), pyrimethamine
(0.25 mg/kg PO q24h), then decoquinate (6%)
12 tsp/10 kg mixed in food q12h 2 y

Malaise, fever, thrombocytopenia,


anemia, pancytopenia

Cytology (aspirates of lymph nodes,


liver or spleen), histopathology

Supportive care, anticoagulants imidocarb


(superior treatment protocol not established)

Anemia

Cytology, PCR

Doxycycline* 510 mg/kg PO q24h 1421


days

Subclinical; malaise, skin lesions,


lameness, hyperglobulinemia

Serology (antibody detection),


cytology, histopathology, PCR

Combination therapy: Sodium stibogluconate


(30 mg/kg IV, SC q24h 34 wk), allopurinol
(1520 mg/kg PO q 12 h 34 wk; then 20
mg/kg q24h for 1 wk each mo indefinitely)

g Boozer

AL, Macintire DK: Canine babesiosis. Vet Clin Small Anim Pract 33:885904, 2003.
AJ, Correa MT, Levy MG, Breitschwerdt EB: Geographic distribution of babesiosis among dogs in the United States and
association with dog bites: 150 cases (20002003). JAVMA 227(6):942947, 2005.
i Vincent-Johnson NA: American canine hepatozoonosis. Vet Clin Small Anim Pract 33:905920, 2003.
j Rosypal AC, Zajac AM, Lindsay DS: Canine visceral leishmaniasis and its emergence in the United States. Vet Clin Small Anim
Pract 33:921937, 200.
PCR = polymerase chain reaction
*NOTE: Cats should not be given doxycycline in tablet form because it has been associated with esophageal ulceration and stricture.
Use liquid or compound into capsule form.
hBirkenheuer