Is your Koolie at risk of Ehrlichiosis?

Is your Koolie at risk of Ehrlichiosis?
By Deborah Maxwell BVSc
February 2021

Ehrlichiosis is a serious canine disease that has already killed hundreds of dogs in northern Australia in less than a year. Treatment can be unsuccessful, especially if not caught early, but prevention is achievable.

By Deborah Maxwell BVSc

Ehrlichiosis is a serious canine disease that has already killed hundreds of dogs in northern Australia in less than a year. Treatment can be unsuccessful, especially if not caught early, but prevention is achievable.
Disease signs include fever, lethargy, inappetence, weight loss, runny/bloody nose and eyes, inflamed cloudy eyes, bleeding or bruising, lameness, pain and (less commonly) nervous signs.
Your Koolie could be at risk if it lives in or visits an area where brown dog ticks are found—much of the northern half of Australia—whether working stock or doing other outdoor activities.
A bacteria, Ehrlichia canis, causes this disease, and is carried by the brown dog tick, and was first identified in Australia in mid-2020. Since then, it has already spread rapidly through the Northern Territory, the north of Western Australia, and even to ticks in northern South Australia.
It is only a matter of time before the bacteria spreads within Australia’s brown dog tick population, which is throughout Queensland, the northern half and warm coastal areas of NSW and WA, and further south in SA.
If your dog lives in or visits these areas, keep up to date with the spread of the disease in the brown dog tick areas (ask your local vet). If the disease is already in your area or nearby, or you are unsure, start preventative treatment.
Unfortunately, there are currently only two products that achieve a very fast kill rate of ticks; these are the Seresto collar and Advantix spot on. These kill or cause the ticks to drop off within hours.
A range of other tick preventative products are widely and successfully used against Paralysis ticks. They are also very useful against Ehrlichia, but do not provide the same level of protection as the aforementioned products. In research trials, about a quarter of the dogs on some of these other popular products became infected by Ehrlichia canis as the products did not kill all the ticks as fast as the Seresto or Advantix products.
Paralysis ticks take about 3 days to cause paralysis, therefore a slightly slower tick kill is no issue, but the Ehrlichia canis bacteria can transfer from a feeding brown dog tick to the dog in as little as 3 to 6 hours (disease signs take one to three weeks to appear after the tick bite).
More detailed information is in the full article>>>>