What is Ehrlichia?

Ehrlichia bacteria can infect your dog if he is bitten by a tick carrying it.

Ehrlichia bacteria can infect your dog if he is bitten by a tick carrying it. Ticks pick up Ehrlichia by feeding off an animal who is infected, according to Pet Education. The bacteria can live with the tick for up to five months or until the tick bites another animal, in which case the bacteria will be passed onto its new host.

If your dog is bit by a tick carrying Ehrlichia, he may experience several symptoms including anemia, fever, depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, joint pain, stiffness and enlarged lymph nodes, VetInfo reported. This is just the first stage of the infection. Most dogs are able to fight off the bacteria during the first stage.

According to VetInfo, ehrlichiosis, the disease caused by the bacteria, is more commonly found in purebreds as opposed to mutts, and usually at an older age. One of the many difficulties of ehrlichiosis is the diagnosis, since symptoms like the enlarged lymph nodes can also be indicators of leukemia, but a simple blood test can easily tell what your dog is experiencing.

Antibiotics are necessary to treat ehrlichiosis, reported Pet Education. However, preventative products like Hartz® UltraGuard Plus® Flea and Tick Collar can keep both harmful ticks and this bacteria away.

This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We offer complete flea and tick protection for your pet, home and yard.