Forums » Internal Medicine

IMHA Triggered by Tick-Borne Disease?

    • 344 posts
    August 23, 2018 1:12 PM EDT

    Question submitted during the Underlying Disease Screening in Dogs with IMHA webinar:


    I lost a 2 year old Rottweiler female to AIHA / IMHA triggered by Mycoplasma haemocanis tick borne disease. How common is this (we were told we don't have this tick disease in NH but she had it)?


    • 14 posts
    August 29, 2018 11:53 AM EDT

    I'm so sorry about your loss! The geographic distribution is thought to be world wide. Advances in diagnostic testing and surveillance is improving and we will know more in the future about all vector-borne diseases! The vector is not known but Rhipicephalus sanguineus is suspected, and this tick is expanding in its geographic range possibly due to climate change (it likes hot weather). It also may be spread by biting and other vectors and possibly vertically. Hemotropic mycoplasmas in cats have a fair bit of evidence that a pathogenic species called Mycoplasma hemofelis causes IMHA. In dogs the hemotropic mycoplasmas seem to be less pathogenic and the evidence was not strong that it can cause IMHA in the evidence review for the consensus statement, but hemolytic anemias (not necessarily immune mediated) and more severe disease has been reported in dogs that have had their spleens taken out or have other diseases or are immune compromised / immunosuppressed. Coinfections and the individual immune milieu at the time of infection may theoretically contribute to disease manifestations.