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Beware the Tick Menace this Summer!

Protecting your furry friends during Australian travels

As Australians embark on travel around the country over the festive period, dog owners are being urged to be vigilant about a growing threat – the rise of deadly bacterial diseases carried by brown ticks

The dangers of travelling with dogs in Australia have escalated due to the rampant spread of a potentially fatal bacterial disease known as Ehrlichiosis, carried by infected brown ticks.

The Brown Tick Menace

Travelling with your dogs in Australia now comes with an added caution. Brown ticks, widely distributed across the continent, are carriers of Ehrlichiosis, a bacterial disease that can prove fatal to dogs if left untreated. The disease is particularly prevalent in northern Australia and has been spreading rapidly southwards in both Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD), with the Northern Territory (NT) being considered endemic.

Symptoms and Risks

Dogs bitten by infected ticks can display a range of symptoms, from fever to bleeding from the nose. Without prompt treatment, the disease can progress rapidly, leading to severe consequences, including death. As temperatures rise, the spread of Ehrlichiosis is becoming more pronounced, necessitating increased awareness and preventative measures.

Protective Measures for Your Pooch

To safeguard your furry companions during travels, it is strongly recommended to treat dogs for ticks, both internally and externally. The use of tick repellent collars or treatments, with Seresto collars being recommended, can be an effective preventive measure. It is crucial to act swiftly as the disease can develop within hours of a tick bite.

Educate Yourself about Ehrlichiosis in Dogs

Travellers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the comprehensive information available on the web page titled ‘Ehrlichiosis in Dogs - DAFF’. [1] This resource provides a thorough understanding of the condition, its symptoms, and the current spread of Ehrlichiosis across Australia.

Minimising the Spread and Protecting Our Dogs

While the disease has not yet reached the southern regions of Australia, the rapid pace of its spread demands heightened awareness and proactive measures. Dog owners are advised to avoid bushy areas, opting for parks with short grass as safer spaces for their dogs.

Act Now and Save Lives

With the risk of tick-borne diseases on the rise, it is incumbent upon dog owners to take immediate and proactive steps to protect their canine companions. By understanding the risks, staying informed, and adopting preventive measures, we can collectively minimise the further spread of Ehrlichiosis and ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved dogs.

written by Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc, December 2023 for Dogs NSW.


MEDIA RELEASE, 12th December 2023

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