Protect your dog from ehrlichiosis


Information on how to protect your dog from the exotic tick-borne dog disease - ehrlichiosis.

The disease ehrlichiosis, an exotic tick-borne dog disease, has been confirmed in a small number of dogs in Katherine and, a remote community west of Alice Springs, as well as the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The exotic disease of dogs has not been previously detected in Australia and is caused by a tick-borne bacteria called Ehrlichia canis.

Symptoms can include:

    • fever
    • lethargy
    • loss of appetite
    • weight loss
    • cloudy or sore eyes
    • pain and stiffness
    • bleeding disorders such as nosebleeds.

It is important to seek veterinary advice and treatment, as the disease can resemble other conditions in dogs with similar signs, including tick-borne diseases such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis, which are already present in the Northern Territory (NT) and, if not properly treated can result in death.

Prevention is the best protection for dogs as vaccinations are not presently available. To protect your dog from ehrlichiosis:

    • have your dogs on a tick prevention program
    • ensure any tick infestations in the house yard are managed by a pest controller
    • avoid taking your dogs into tick-infested areas
    • take particular care when bush-walking with your dog
    • inspect your dogs daily for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick-infested areas. Run your fingers through your pet’s coat over their skin, feeling for abnormal bumps. Pay particular attention to the head, neck and ears, chest, between their toes and around their mouths and gums
    • contact your veterinarian if you find ticks on your dog and are concerned
    • be on the lookout for signs of ehrlichiosis, such as fever, lethargy and appetite loss.

If you suspect your dog is showing signs of the disease, report it to your local vet or the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch hotline 1800 675 888.

For more information visit the NT Government website.

White and brown puppy running on grass

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