##65: Ehrlichia Canis Update

It’s happened: In late January 2022, an astute veterinarian in Mount Isa diagnosed the first locally acquired case of the tick-borne disease, ehrlichiosis, in a Queensland dog. As predicted the disease is making its way south, and we want to make sure that you, like our Mt Isa vet, are able to spot and treat ehrlichiosis when it comes knocking on your door. Which, in all likelihood – it will, regardless of where you are in the country.

This episode is a composite of two episodes that we released over the past two years on the Vet Vault Clinical podcast. Part one was released in 2021 soon after the disease first made its appearance in Western Australia in 2020. We speak to Dr Paolo Pazzi – a medicine specialist from South Africa where ehrlichiosis is an endemic disease and is commonly seen in practice. This episode covers the clinical aspects of the disease and aims to ensure that you don’t miss these cases and to give you a guide on how to manage them. 

In part two we speak to Dr Katie Davies, who works in Karratha in Western Australia where the outbreak started, and Professor Peter Irwin, THE guru in all things vector-borne disease. They give us an update on the situation in Australia, and the message is clear: it’s here, it’s serious, and it’s not quite the same disease in Australia as it is in countries where the disease is endemic. We talk about what you can expect, what to do and how to test when you see your first case, and we clarify some of the confusion around disease prevention. See it as a ‘how-to’ guide for Australian vets.

Thank you to Elanco Australia for supplying us with the expertise to help us clarify preventatives. Check out their tick preventative products, including the tick repellents Serestoand Advantix, as well as a new monthly chewable isoxazoline, Credelio, that will sort out you patients against tick paralysis, but as you’ll hear, NOT ehrlichiosis.  

Who to contact if you have a suspected case of ehrlichiosis: 

Emergency Animal Disease Hotline: 1800 675 888.

Western Australia

Northern Territory

NSW

Victoria

South Australia

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