The Queensland Agriculture Authorities issued an urgent warning after a dog tested positive for a fatal disease with a high death rate.
Canine Ehrlichiosis is spread by bacteria in the dog’s brown tick and is known to cause serious health problems, including death, in dogs.
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) confirmed that a dog tested positive for the disease on July 1.
It is the first reported case of the disease in a Queensland dog.
A DAF spokesman said the border collie traveled through Western Australia and the Northern Territory earlier this year.
The Queensland discovery sparked a government warning urging people to assess their dog’s health if they move to the state from an area known to be active with the disease.
Ehrlichiosis was first detected in Australian dogs in the Kimberley region of WA in May last year and in the Northern Territory a month later.
“A veterinarian treated the dog after showing signs of E. canis and sent samples to the Queensland government biosafety laboratory, where the infection was confirmed,” the spokesman said.
“The dog owner works with his private veterinarian to deal with the case through appropriate therapy and tick management.”
Ehrlichia canis (E. canis) bacteria are known to cause fever, bleeding disorders, weakness, and low platelet counts in dogs.
According to Wildlife Health Australia, the disease has a high mortality rate during the chronic infection phase.
The DAF spokesman said dog owners should maintain an effective tick control program including regular inspections.
“Treating infected dogs early offers the best chance of recovery and acutely infected dogs that are treated accordingly have a good prognosis,” said the spokesman.
“There is no vaccine against E. canis.
“Infected dogs do not transmit E canis to humans or other animals.
“In rare cases, people can become infected with E canis after being bitten by an infected tick.”