Look out for dog disease after the rain

News release | 26-May-2022

  • Keep an eye on your dog after the wet weather for any signs of the tick-borne disease ehrlichiosis.
  • A number of dogs have been infected by ticks across much of northern Australia, including Queensland.
  • Keep your dog out of ticky areas, such as the bush, and for more information on what to look for visit business.qld.gov.au and search for ‘ehrlichiosis.

Now the rain has eased across much of Queensland, dog owners and veterinarians are urged look out for signs of the fatal dog disease ehrlichiosis.


General Manager, Animal Biosecurity and Welfare and Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Allison Crook said dogs fell sick with ehrlichiosis if bitten by a brown dog tick infected with the Ehrlichia canis bacteria.


“Wet weather often leads to increased tick numbers, so it’s important to be aware of this disease,” Dr Crook said.


“In the past 18 months, a number of dogs have been infected by ticks across much of northern Australia, including some in Queensland.”


Signs of ehrlichiosis typically include:

  • fever
  • lethargy
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • loss of appetite
  • discharge from the eyes and nose
  • weight loss
  • anaemia
  • bleeding disorders.


Dr Crook said to protect your dog, use an external tick treatment that killed brown dog ticks on contact.


“Avoid taking dogs into tick-infested area such as the bush. If you do, always check them afterwards and remove any ticks,” she said.


“Veterinarians can give advice on tick prevention and control programs, products and tick removal.”


Ehrlichiosis is a nationally notifiable disease. If your dog is showing any signs, report it immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.


For more information visit business.qld.gov.au and search for ‘ehrlichiosis’.

Media contact: DAF Media, media@daf.qld.gov.au