Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis


[Image – clinical signs of ehrlichiosis – credit DAFF]


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.

Ehrlichiosis is a national notifiable disease which means an animal showing suspect signs of the disease must be reported to the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888. This number will connect you with your state or territory’s department of primary industries or agriculture.

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.