Recently you may have heard about a disease in dogs that is new to South Australia. Ehrlichiosis is a tick borne disease (carried and transmitted by ticks) that was first detected in Australia (WA and NT) in mid-2020 and has recently been detected in South Australia for the first time. The disease is caused when a tick carrying the bacteria Ehrlichia canis bites a dog. Symptoms can start from approximately 1 week after infection and can include fever, lethargy, loss off appetite, pain, discharge from the eyes and nose, abnormal bleeding, weight loss, and if not treated appropriately can result in death.
The ticks that carry the diseases are present throughout South Australia, however, so far the disease has only been detected in the far north of SA. Although Ehrlichiosis has not been detected in our region it does not stop infected animals/ticks being transported here.
The best way to prevent your dog from contracting the E. canis is to maintain regular tick prevention. The disease cannot be transmitted from dog to dog and is not a current concern for human health. If you are planning on traveling with your dog it is important to ensure you are providing adequate tick prevention treatment, inspect your dog regularly for ticks, and avoid high risk areas.
If you would like to discuss tick prevention, find a tick on your dog, or you are concerned that your dog is showing any of the symptoms discussed above, please contact the Willunga or Aldinga vet clinics