Ehrlichiosis disease in dogs


A rare and life-threatening tick-borne disease affecting dogs, called Ehrlichiosis, was first identified in Western Australia’s Kimberley region in May 2020.

This deadly disease has since been found across Australia, reaching endemic levels in some remote and rural indigenous communities and posing a significant threat to our dogs, particularly those in northern regions of Australia.

Ehrlichiosis is transmitted through a brown dog tick bite, and is not spread dog to dog.

Symptoms & Treatment

Ehrlichiosis is a very serious disease.  Symptoms can vary but include fever, lethargy, reduced appetite, usual bleeding (nose bleeds, bruising etc), cloudy eyes, and early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics is needed.

However, in many remote communities it is often not identified until it is in the acute or chronic phase.  It has up to a 30% mortality rate at the acute phase and the suffering and death of these dogs is a devastating burden for communities, compounded by a lack of access to basic medical care.

It is 100% preventable with effective tick treatments.  However in remote indigenous communities, access to preventatives is challenged due to both the cost of tick prevention, plus vet clinics can be thousands of kilometers away, making access to treatment very difficult.

Improving dog health in local communities

Together with partners including the Petspiration Foundation, AMRRIC (Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities) has been working hard to improve health outcomes for the companion animals in remote and rural indigenous communities, to help protect them from the deadly Ehrlichiosis disease and other health issues.

Following the resumption of remote travel, teams of veterinary service providers have been on the road non-stop delivering veterinary services and parasite protection.

Working together to provide protection

To address this growing issue, AMRRIC has been striving to secure a large quantity of parasite medication through generous support from Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturers of NexGard SPECTRA which will assist with more dogs being protected from tick-borne diseases, fleas and other parasites.

AMRRIC has also had additional support from PETstock Assist in coordinating stock delivery and providing a $10,500 donation of food and enrichment products for companion animals in remote communities.

AMRRIC CEO Dr. Brooke Rankmore says: “AMRRIC works with our partners to provide support for companion animals in remote communities- when animals are healthy, people and communities are healthy”.

Protecting dogs from the threat of Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis poses a massive threat to the health of not only dogs but the whole community. By providing anti-parasitic medications to at-risk communities, the threat posed by ticks infected with the Erhlichiosis bacteria is lessened.

With Ehrlichia canis potentially making its way into more and more communities, the work that AMRRIC is doing in collecting data and distributing anti-parasitic medication to prevent this zoonotic disease new to Australia is increasingly important.

You can help by supporting the work of AMRRIC through donations and other partner campaigns.  To learn more about the greats work of AMRRIC, click HERE.

Protect your dog from fleas, ticks & parasites

No matter where you live it is important to protect your dog from fleas, ticks and parasites year round with a topical or chewable flea and worm treatment such as Nexgard, available from PETstock.

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