Effective tick control program – Tick!

Published Friday, 25 February, 2022 at 01:55 PM

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities
The Honourable Mark Furner

Dog owners are being urged to maintain an effective tick control program to prevent their four-legged friends falling victim to ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne disease caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia canis (E canis).

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said with the wet season now well underway, man’s best friends needed their owners to do all they could to protect them from ehrlichiosis.

“We do not want dog owners to go through the trauma of seeing their beloved dogs suffering the effects of this horrible disease,” Mr Furner said

“In late January 2022, a dog that was reported as not having travelled outside of Queensland was confirmed with ehrlichiosis, meaning this disease has likely found its way into our tick population.  

“As ticks are more prevalent during the wet season, I cannot stress enough that, to prevent canine ehrlichiosis, dogs should be on a tick prevention program that repels and kills ticks preventing them from attaching to the dog.

“Dog owners should also watch for any signs of illness, avoid taking dogs into tick-infested areas such as the bush where possible, and regularly inspect dogs for ticks and carefully remove ticks.

“Whether your dogs are working dogs or family pets, the only tick they should get is the one that shows you have taken them to your local vet to get good advice and appropriate products to protect them.”

Mr Furner said dogs can become infected with E. canis after being bitten by an infected brown dog tick, which is common in most areas of northern Australia.

“Although they can vary considerably among dogs, clinical signs typically include fever, lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes and nose, weight loss, and anaemia and bleeding disorders,” he said.

“Everyone involved with dogs has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) under the Biosecurity Act 2014 to take all reasonable steps to ensure they do not spread a pest, disease or contaminant, including E canis.

“Australia’s first cases of E canis were detected in May 2020 in dogs in Western Australia and since then the Northern Territory, and anyone taking dogs through areas where E canis is known, or likely, to be active should take additional precautions.

“Ehrlichiosis is a nationally notifiable disease and anyone who suspects a dog is showing signs of the disease must report it immediately to the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.”

Comprehensive information can be found online by visiting business.qld.gov.au and searching for ‘E canis’.

Media contact:          Ron Goodman            0427 781 920