Ehrlichia

WHAT IS CANINE EHRLICHIOSIS?

Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial, infectious disease of dogs, it is the second most common canine infectious disease in the U.S. (after parvovirus).

HOW DOES A DOG GET INFECTED BY EHRLICHIA?

Ehrlichiosis is transmitted to dogs through the bite of an infected tick, the brown dog tick, is the main transporter of the disease in nature.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF EHRLICHIOSIS?

Signs of Ehrlichia can be mild to severe loss of appetite, depression, fever, painful joints, bloody nose, or pale gums. If left untreated Ehrlichia can lead to permanent blindness, autoimmune disease, bleeding complications, and sometimes death.

HOW IS EHRLICHIA DIAGNOSED?

Most cases of Ehrlichia can be diagnosed with a blood test that can be done in our clinic. It may be difficult to diagnose infected dogs during the very early stages of infection. The immune system usually takes two to three weeks to respond to the presence of the organism and develop antibodies.

HOW IS EHRLICHIOSIS TREATED?

Certain antibiotics are quite effective, but a long course of treatment may be needed. Your veterinarian will discuss treatment options with you.

If caught and treated early, the outcome is usually very good for a full recovery from symptoms. Some of these infections cannot be cured completely, but early intervention usually provides the best prognosis.

IS MY DOG LIKELY TO GET INFECTED WITH EHRLICHIA?

Your dog can be exposed to this infection in almost any outdoor location where ticks can be found. Risk varies from region to region. You might not even know when it happens.

CAN ANYTHING BE DONE TO PREVENT EHRLICHIA INFECTION?

  • Good tick prevention and “tick checks” are vital. We recommend using Frontline monthly throughout the tick season. We also have a number of topical products to help repel ticks.
  • There isn’t a vaccination currently available to prevent Ehrlichiosis.
  • No prevention is 100% effective. Test your dog every year.

CAN I GET EHRLICHIA FROM MY DOG?

No. However, humans can get Ehrlichiosis. The disease is only transmitted to humans through the bite of ticks. Thus, although the disease is not transmitted directly form dogs to humans, infected dogs serve as a sign that ticks are carrying Ehrlichia are in your area. Your family can be at risk, just like your dog. To reduce the risk, inspect your dog and every family member for ticks several times a day when enjoying outdoor activities. Using tick preventatives can decrease the likelihood that your pet will bring disease-carrying ticks into your home.

Learn more at www.dogsandticks.com

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