Ehrlichiosis in dogs and cats

Common info

Ehrlichiosis is a group of diseases caused by bacteria that destroy white blood cells which have ticks as carriers. The symptoms of Ehrlichiosis in dogs and cats are both mild. It may show flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches) also severe types that can cause death.


Ehrlichiosis is caused by the Ehrlichia Canis, which was first discovered in 1935 on a dog that filled with ticks, a dog had fever and anemia. Later, there was an examination of many germ species and reclassified as Anaplasma or Neorickettsia during 1980-1990.


Dogs will receive Ehrlichiosis from brown ticks that have Ehrlichiosis in the bloodstream and can be spread through the blood transfusion of the dog because Ehrlichia canis is an infection that will enter the white blood cells to attack other white blood cells and the immune system, which will circulate along the bloodstream.  Ehrlichiosis is very rare in cats.


  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Coughing
  • Petechiae
  • Dyspnea
  • Edema of the legs and scrotum
  • Lameness
  • Low platelet
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Pale gums
  • Polyuria
  • Polydipsia
  • Vasculitis

Ehrlichiosis has different symptoms depending on the type of infection. Common symptoms such as fever, petechiae, bleeding disorder, vasculitis, enlarged lymph nodes, lymphalenophathy, edema of the legs and scrotum, weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dogs and cats who have Ehrlichiosis may be able to recover from the disease themselves. For chronic Ehrlichiosis, they may experience symptoms such as weight loss, long period of time fever, bleeding disorder, pale gums, low platelet, dyspnea, coughing, polydipsia, polyuria, and lameness.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for Ehrlichiosis in dogs and cats can be done by giving antibiotics such as Tetracycline or Doxycycline by injecting into Subcutaneous or intravenous. In severe cases, it may require blood transfusions. The best way to prevent Ehrlichiosis in dogs and cats is to control ticks that are carriers of Ehrlichiosis.

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