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Tick Fever


What is tick fever?

Tick fever is an infection that is spread by the brown dog tick common in the Darwin region. There are two parasites, Anaplasma platys and Babesia canis, which can cause illness in dogs. The clinical signs of tick fever may be caused by one or both of the parasites. Although most dogs in Darwin will be bitten by ticks occasionally, only a small number of dogs become unwell from this infection.


Tick fever can be life threatening in severe cases. Anaplasma platys infection can cause problems with blood clotting and internal bleeding and Babesia canisinfection can cause a life threatening anaemia. Fortunately we can treat these infections successfully in almost all cases so if you are concerned about your pet please book a consultation with one of our vets.


What will I see?

The most common clinical signs of tick fever are:

  • Lethargy, weakness

  • Bruising, red/purple spots or a rash

  • Excessive bleeding (e.g. from the nose, in urine etc)

  • Pale gums

  • Severe tick infestation – but it only takes ONE infected tick to cause the disease.


Your dog may have just one of these signs, none of them, or all of them, so if you are concerned please have your dog checked by your vet. Tick fever can be diagnosed with a blood test that we are able to perform in our practice.


How can I prevent tick fever?

Monthly tick prevention is the best way to reduce the spread of tick fever. There are several products available, so please speak to our friendly staff members for advice.

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