Moves to protect our pet and working dogs from ehrlichiosis

​​​Biosecurity Tasmania has recently gazetted a new import requirement for dogs to help reduce the risk of disease from the tick-borne bacteria Ehrlichia canis (E.Canis)​spreading to Tasmania.​​

Dog owners are now required to ​declare that they have inspected their dogs and that their dogs are tick-free. 

The tick-free declaration is in addition to the existing import requirement to provide evidence of worming for hydatids when bringing dogs into Tasmania - unless exempted. 

Ehrlichiosis is a disease in dogs caused by the tick-borne bacteria E. canis, and the disease has been reported in many regions on mainland Australia. The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) is the main carrier of this bacteria.

As this dog tick is not known to be present in Tasmania, this means there is a low risk of any transmission of E. canis in the State. However, with a warming climate and the potential spread of brown dog tick, the risk of infection from E. canis in Tasmania may increase.

Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)

Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
Photo: WA DPIRD


No-one wants to see this disease in Tasmania – it can be difficult to diagnose and treat, especially if not recognised right away. 

The high rates of death in dogs seen in some Northern Territory communities is of great concern, and a sad reminder of the potential effect this disease could have on our much-loved dog companions.

Ehrlichiosis can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. Contact your veterinarian if you believe your dog is showing any signs of the disease. These include:
  • fever
  • lethargy
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • loss of appetite
  • discharge from the eyes and nose
  • weight loss
  • anaemia and 
  • bleeding disorders such as nosebleeds or bleeding under the skin that looks like small spots, patches or bruising.
See more information on the revised entry requirements for dogs to Tasmania (including the declaration form), as well as information on E. Canis infection and the brown dog tick​.​

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