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Babesia Blood Test

Babesiosis is a dangerous dog disease caused by a protozoan named Babesia. The disease is spread through the bite of an infected tick. Dogs suffering from Babesiosis show various symptoms, including fever, listlessness, dark urine, and an enlarged spleen. Though the disease spread mainly through infected ticks, there have been instances of Babesiosis spreading through direct animal interaction and in utero to unborn puppies from an infected mother.

Babesiosis is common in mainland Africa, and some countries require a Babesiosis test before import. 

New Zealand, for instance, does not permit dogs diagnosed with Babesiosis to enter the country regardless of the treatment.

To test for Babesiosis, the vet will draw a sample of your dog’s blood and run a test to check for the protozoan. The following laboratory tests indicate whether the pet is suffering from Babesiosis.

  • The immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) – IN this test, the lab will look for antibodies in the blood serum that react with Babesia. This test is a good indicator of whether the dog has the disease but does not differentiate between the different strains of Babesia causing the disease.
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) – The Elisa test measures the antibody response of the dog with the Babesia organism. It is also a reliable test for Babesiosis, but it takes about ten days for the results to develop.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – This test detects the presence of Babesia DNA in the blood. Pet dogs travelling to New Zealand need to have two negative PCR tests 30 to 37 days apart. The sample for the second test must be collected 16 days before departure.

Babesiosis is usually treated with imidocarb dipropionate as one or two treatments via subcutaneous injection.

To successfully relocate a pet internationally, every import requirement must be met. Every detail is essential, and it can be challenging for pet parents to keep track of all the different requirements. An accredited pet transport company can help you navigate through these requirements with ease and make the whole process stress-free and straightforward. Petraveller is Australia’s leading pet travel agency and has successfully relocated more than 15,000 pets to 50 cities worldwide. Reach out to Petraveller for more advice on pet travel requirements and a free travel quote.