Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the bite of a brown tick. Through the bite of an infected tick, the pathogens enter the dog’s blood via the tick’s saliva within 48 hrs.
The causative agent of ehrlichiosis in dogs is Ehrlichia canis. The so-called Ehrlichia is a bacterium that attaches itself to the white blood cells and in this way spreads unhindered to the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. Due to global warming, the pathogen is now also present in Germany. Incubation period: A few days to 3 weeks.
In most cases of Ehrlichiosis, a distinction is made between the two most common phases: the acute phase and the chronic phase.
Symptoms of the acute phase, which develops within three weeks, include apathy, vomiting, loss of appetite, recurrent fevers, nosebleeds, and respiratory distress. Symptoms of the chronic phase include paralysis, corneal opacities, febrile episodes, emaciation, increased bleeding tendency and kidney damage.
The causative agent can be detected fairly quickly by blood test or laboratory tissue sample.
Ehrlichiosis is treated with an antibiotic, such as doxycycline, for about two to three weeks. Overall, dogs have a very good chance of complete control of the parasite. Chronic infestation is possible if diagnosed too late.