As Australians take off on holidays around the country, Dogs NSW has warned owners to stay vigilant over the dangers of brown ticks.

Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc says that 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.

Below, Dr Hedberg explains the dangers, symptoms, risks, and precautions that owners can take to minimise risk.

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 Ehrlichosis, 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 Ehrlichosis 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: ‘Ehrlichosis in Dogs – DAFF’

Travellers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the comprehensive information available on the web page titled ‘Ehrlichosis in Dogs – DAFF’. This resource provides a thorough understanding of the condition, its symptoms, and the current spread of Ehrlichosis 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 Ehrlichosis and ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved dogs.

To stay up to date on the latest industry headlines, sign up to the Pet Industry News e-newsletter.