Animal owners are being urged to ensure their family dogs are protected against serious and potentially deadly diseases, following the discovery of the first ever cases of a tick-borne disease, Ehrlichiosis, in northern Queensland.
As a result of the hot and wet weather across the east coast, tick numbers have exploded resulting in an increase in dangerous tick-borne illnesses, which have been detected in Townsville.
There is currently no vaccine against the disease.
Dr Liisa Ahlstrom, technical services vet for Elanco's Pet Health business, is a leading expert in vector-borne diseases, and said the best protection against the disease was through use of a tick-repelling collar.
It was key that owners used a tick-repelling product as most tick products kill ticks upon biting however, in the case of Ehrlichiosis, the disease can be transferred within a single tick bite, she said.
The disease is spread through the Brown Dog tick, which is found across Australia.
The tick acts as a carrier for the bacteria which enters the bloodstream of the pet through the bite, attacking vital organs including the liver, kidneys, and bone marrow.
Symptoms could include unusual bleeding from the eyes, nose or anus, lethargy, loss of appetite and anaemia.
The bacteria can lie dormant - or hide - from antibiotics until it wears off and then attack again and could result in a slow and painful death for our beloved pets.
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