Abstracts: Searching for Lyme borreliosis in Australia: results of a canine sentinel study

BACKGROUND: Lyme borreliosis is a common tick-borne disease of the northern hemisphere that is caused by bacterial spirochaetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) (Bbsl) complex. To date, there has been no convincing evidence for locally-acquired Lyme borreliosis on the Australian continent and there is currently a national debate concerning the nature and distributions of zoonotic tick-transmitted . . . → Read More: Abstracts: Searching for Lyme borreliosis in Australia: results of a canine sentinel study

Experts urge change about thinking for canine vector born disease

The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) can transmit diseases to dogs and humans, including babesiosis.

The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) can transmit diseases to dogs and humans, including babesiosis.

Australian and New Zealand veterinarians need to change the way they think about vector borne diseases, according to canine medicine specialist Associate Professor Peter Irwin.

Irwin, based at Murdoch University, said that while Australia and New Zealand are free of many significant vector borne diseases (VBDs), emergence of these in previously unaffected regions raises concerns that this may not always be the case.

“There is a concern that many of these diseases fly under the radar,” Irwin said. “They can cause non-specific clinical signs, can be difficult to diagnose, and may not be detected without a high index of suspicion.”

Ticks, fleas and sand flies are vectors of the most significant canine VBDs, including borreliosis (known as Lyme disease), babesiosis, bartonellosis, ehrlichiosis, hepatozoonosis and leishmaniosis.

Australia and New Zealand are free of ehrlichiosis, leishmaniosis, hepatozoonosis and Lyme borreliosis, but the risk of these diseases becoming established is very real. Screening for some pathogens in imported companion animals is required by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), but there are case reports of leishmaniosis in dogs imported prior to screening.

While sand flies are the only proven vector of leishmaniosis, transmission is possible via nonvectorial routes.

Irwin advises veterinarians to expect the unexpected, as animals with so-called “exotic disease” can present at any time. Continue reading Experts urge change about thinking for canine vector born disease

Tick vigilance urged for coming holidays

Romy Feldman. (Picture Bjørn Christian Tørrissen)

“Roaming Vet” Romy Feldman has advised pet owners to be cautious particularly when taking animals on holiday, as different regions have different pests and treatments needed.

“It is important to be informed about the risk in their area and any hot-spots that come about, like tick cases recently reported as coming . . . → Read More: Tick vigilance urged for coming holidays

Deadly tick season threatens pets

Vets are warning pet owners to be vigilant as an explosion of tick paralysis cases in Australia’s eastern states leaves a trail of casualties.

Perfect breeding conditions have created huge numbers of paralysis ticks this summer, according to Australian Veterinary Association spokesperson Jodie Wilson.

“The tick season is usually at its height in eastern states from spring through to autumn, but about 700 cases have already been logged in Queensland and NSW, which is extremely high for so early on in the season,” Wilson said. Continue reading Deadly tick season threatens pets