Considering a road-trip with your pooch?

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Traveling with dogs can increase exposure to infectious diseases that dogs wouldn’t normally encounter, such as ehrlichiosis, an exotic tick-borne dog disease confirmed in Katherine and, a remote community west of Alice Springs, as well as the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Ehrlichiosis has not been previously detected in Australia, which is transmitted to dogs by the brown dog tick. Once the disease is in the tick population, it’s very difficult to control.

Travel preparations to protect your pooch:

  • Before hitting the road check in with your veterinarian to assess disease prevention requirements such as vaccination, worming, tick and flea control, heartworm preventive.
  • Avoid contact with other dogs when making stops along your journey, such as at fuel stations, truck stops or caravan parks to avoid ehrlichiosis transmission between dogs by the brown dog tick.
  • Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms such as fever, lethargy, blood disorders and weight loss.
  • Check your dogs daily for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick-infested areas.

If your dog gets sick when travelling, make sure your veterinarian knows where you went and when.

It is important to seek veterinary advice and treatment, as the disease can resemble other conditions with similar signs in dogs, including tick-borne diseases such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis, which are already present in the Northern Territory (NT), and, if not properly treated can result in death.

If you suspect your dog is showing signs of the disease, report it to your local vet or the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch hotline 1800 675 888.

For more information go to the NT Government website.

Dog with head out of the window of a moving car.

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