Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis


[Image – clinical signs of ehrlichiosis – credit DAFF]

Updated  May 2024


Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME) is a disease caused by a tick-borne bacteria called Ehrlichia canis. Transmission occurs only through infected brown dog ticks, which are present across northern Australia. The disease does not pass directly between infected dogs. 

Erlichiosis has been detected in Australia since May 2020, and has been confirmed across multiple regions of WA and the Northern Territory. Results from a national surveillance program has also confirmed the disease is also established in the far north of South Australia, in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. More recently it has been identified in a dog in Mt Isa, Queensland. The AVA has previously reported on the impact CME is having on remote Aboriginal communities and their dogs.

Infection with Ehrlichia canis (E. canis) is no longer nationally notifiable. Disease management is focused on: tick prevention and early detection and treatment.

Be vigilant — consider canine ehrlichiosis in relevant clinical cases and discuss prevention with your clients.

Useful resources 

In collaboration with stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has produced a guide for veterinarians on Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, as well as a series of factsheets for veterinarians, dog owners and the rescue, adoption and relocation of dogs in Australia.

The DAFF's resources are available on their website:

They are also available on the DAFF Animal Health webpage.