Babesia canis diagnosis

Diagnosis can be achieved by demonstration of the parasite in peripheral blood smears stained with Giemsa or Diffquick®. The parasite presents as piriform (pear shaped) organisms, often paired, in the red blood cell. PCR on blood is a sensitive alternative and allows speciation of the parasite but can take up to 7 days for completion. Serology can indicate current or recent infection but there can be cross reactivity with other closely related protozoa such as Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum.