This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.
You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.
Ehrlichia are transmissible from animals to humans, and so Ehrlichiosis is a Zoonotic disease
NEWS FLASH During 2013 2 dogs in SE England that have never been abroad or been in contact with dogs that have, have been reported to be infected with Ehrlichiosis. This suggests that we now have infected ticks in our environment.
Ehrlichiosis is caused by an intracellular Rickettsial parasite that is transmitted by tick bites.
Ehrlichial species usually infect one or more of three types of cell within the body :
There is one species that infects other cells in cattle.
At least seven species have been reported to infect dogs, but in the UK the most likely species to be seen in imported dogs include :
Following transmission of the organism from the saliva of an infected tick there is an incubation period during which the organism spreads in the body's cells and this can last between 1-3 weeks.
Ehrlichiosis results in multiple organ system involvement and clinical signs vary from very mild to severe non-specific signs :
or - the dog may show no signs at all - and this subclinical phase can last for months or even years.
On haematology there may be evidence of :
German shepherd dogs are said to be more susceptible to ehrlichiosis and develop pancytopenia.
Ehrlichia organisms are rarely seen on histological examination of cells, but serum antibodies can be detected within 7-28 days of infection using an indirect fluoresecent antibody technique.
In the absence of a vaccine tick control is the only form of prevention.
Treatment for 14 days with :
When necessary other drug therapy may be needed or considered:
Updated January 2016