26 September 2023

Rain leaves deadly disease for the dogs

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Dog owners and veterinarians have been advised to look out for signs of a deadly disease in dogs now that the rain has eased across much of Queensland.

General Manager of Animal Biosecurity and Welfare and Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Allison Crook issued the advice saying it was aimed at the fatal dog disease ehrlichiosis.

Dr Crook said dogs could fall sick with ehrlichiosis if they were bitten by a brown dog tick infected with the Ehrlichia canis bacteria.

“Wet weather often leads to increased tick numbers, so it’s important to be aware of this disease,” Dr Crook said.

“In the past 18 months, a number of dogs have been infected by ticks across much of northern Australia, including some in Queensland.”

She said the signs of ehrlichiosis typically included fever, lethargy, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes and nose, weight loss, anaemia and bleeding disorders.

She said that to protect a dog, use an external tick treatment that killed brown dog ticks on contact.

“Avoid taking dogs into tick-infested area such as the bush,” the Chief Veterinary Officer said.

“If you do, always check them afterwards and remove any ticks,” she said.

“Veterinarians can give advice on tick prevention and control programs, products and tick removal.”

Dr Crook said ehrlichiosis was a nationally notifiable disease which means dog owners are required to contact the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline immediately on 1800 675 888 if their dog was showing any signs.

More information about ehrlichiosis can be accessed on the Business Queensland website at this PS News link.

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