When a pet shows hints of discomfort or early signs of an illness, a ton of worry and a trip to the vet clinic come next. But there are certain types of diseases that infiltrate our dog’s body and quietly get to work. That’s even more worrisome! Such is the disease called Ehrlichia—the silent pet killer.


This illness, also known as the tracker dog disease or tropical canine pancytopenia, is born from an infected tick bite, usually carried by a brown tick. It’s labeled as the “silent killer” for a reason—while other infected canines show signs of contraction, there are ones who are asymptomatic.


There are three stages of ehrlichiosis: acute, sub-clinical, and chronic. There are cases of eliminating the infection after the acute or early phase, where infected dogs experience fever, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory distress, weight loss, bleeding disorders, and neurological disturbances that last for two to four weeks. Or sometimes, this stage will go unnoticed—with pets showing no signs of infection at all.


This is where the problem arises, as it can lead to the sub-clinical phase—a state without outward signs of disease as well. Dogs can either overcome this stage unscathed, while others aren’t so lucky. If your pet’s immune system isn’t successful in killing the organisms that cause the disease during this phase, it leads to chronic or clinical ehrlichiosis. This will arise a number of problems, such as anemia, bleeding episodes, lameness, eye problems, neurological problems, swollen limbs, and failure to produce healthy cells to sustain life. Of course, this is something we do not want to happen.


The solution? Prevention, no less! As much as we can, do not let your dog get in contact with ticks by providing them with anti-tick products to use regularly. We recommend Wondercide Pets & Home Anti Flea & Tick Spray, Earth Animal Anti Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs and Cats, and Earth Animal Daily Internal Powder that are easily available in Bow & Wow stores. Also, routinely check your furry friend for ticks, and head to the dog doctor immediately if your pet attracted ticks on its fur, for early detection.


And finally, let them roam around a safe and healthy environment. You owe it to them to keep them away from disease carriers and to look after their precious health, our dear pet parent!