News and updates

Emerging Disease – Ehrlichiosis in Dogs


Written by Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc. 2021

Ehrlichiosis is a tick borne disease affecting primarily dogs. It is not transmitted from dog to dog, transmission only occurs through infected ticks, the main one being the brown dog tick. The brown dog tick is widespread throughout mainland Australia. No brown ticks have been found in Tasmania. While ticks are mostly coastal, they can be found further inland.

Ehrlichiosis is the disease that is caused by a tick borne bacteria called Ehrlichia Canis. Once a dog has been bitten by an infected tick, there are 3 stages of infection:-
1. Acute or early phase (3-4 weeks)
2. A subclinical phase (months to years)
3. Chronic or long term stage. (months to years)

Symptoms include fever, lethargy, enlarged lymph nodes, loss of appetite, discharge from the eyes and nose, weight loss, anaemia and bleeding disorders such as nosebleeds or bleeding under the skin that looks like small spots, patches or bruising.

The severity of symptoms varies considerably between dogs. The incubation period is 1-3 weeks after the tick bite, but the chronic form may not manifest for months or years following infection. PCR and ELISA tests give the most accurate diagnosis along with comprehensive blood tests. Affected dogs require veterinary treatment and supportive care, the earlier this is diagnosed and treated the better. Usually these dogs are treated with tetracycline drugs for a minimum of 4 weeks, shorter treatment periods may result in subclinical carriers. Seronegative PCR tests will indicate if the infection has cleared.

If not properly treated these dogs can and do die.

This disease can be found worldwide, particularly in tropical and subtropical areas. Once the disease is in the brown dog tick population, it is very difficult to control. German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are predisposed to develop more severe signs of disease with a worse prognosis (reduced cell-mediated immune response).

In extremely rare cases, infected ticks may infect people, however the species of Ehrlichia that affects humans have not yet been detected in Australia.

Ehrlichosis is a nationally notifiable disease and the Government is conducting surveillance testing of dogs, particularly in the far north of Western Australia, Northern Territory and far north Queensland. The Kimberly and Pilbara regions are two areas affected in Western Australia, along with Katherine and Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.

Dogs from affected areas are being monitored and their movement limited. Dogs moving from these areas could be required to be tested prior to movement and only travelling with healthy dogs that are on an effective tick control program.

Three dogs brought into NSW from the Northern Territory have tested positive for Ehrlichia and have since had veterinary treatment. Similarly in Queensland, a small number of infected dogs have been detected that were brought in from the Northern Territory. Human assisted movement of dogs is considered the most likely means of introducing E. Canis into Queensland. Wild dogs and foxes can also carry the disease.

In South Australia, a few infected dogs were detected in the far north of the state, however on testing, few ticks were found to carry the disease. However, this tick is found throughout the state.

Maintain dogs on a tick control program – ensure you do not run over time before treating again, even 2-3 days late could cause issues.

Avoid taking dogs into tick infected areas such as the bush and long grass, especially on coastal areas.

Inspect you dogs for ticks daily for 5-6 days after being in tick infested areas.

The most likely way this disease will spread is by the transport of dogs interstate. Dog exhibitors like to travel far and wide for shows, often interstate. We should all be vigilant with providing tick control measures, and renewing these before we travel!

Do not take dogs running along beaches, through the bush etc without adequate tick prevention. Be aware at some shows, the grounds may back onto bush, do not walk your dogs through these areas.

Long Term
We have to be aware that this disease will in all probability become far prevalent and widespread over the next 10 years. Tick prevention should become second nature especially when travelling.

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Amendment to ANKC Standard - Whippet


Please note: the ANKC are arranging the following change to the Colour section in the standard of the Whippet on their website to ensure consistency with the Kennel Club (UK) standard.

Currently reads:
Any colour or mixture of colours 

Amended to read:
Any colour or mixture of colours, except merle.

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Royal Canin Webinar - Topic: Dental Disease - One Bite at a Time


Dental disease affects 80% of dogs and 70% of cats over three years of age and can have significant health and welfare consequences. In this webinar, Dr Ben Porter opens up the mouth and discusses all things dental disease.
From halitosis to tartar, brushing to dental diets, he’ll discuss why it’s important to regularly flip the lip on your dogs and cats and to pay close attention to their mouths. 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email and you will be able to watch the webinar anytime until 31st May 2021.

Click here to register.

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ACES Monthly Eye Certification Clinics


A supported service to DOGS NSW Members

Please note the dates for Eye Certification Clinics conducted under AVA-ANKC Australian Canine Eye Scheme Rules, for the first half of 2021. Each monthly Eye Clinic will operate from the SECRETARIES HUT on DOGS NSW Grounds from 4.00pm to 7.00pm:

Thursday, 4 February
Thursday, 4 March
Thursday, 8 April
Thursday, 6 May
Thursday, 3 June
Thursday, 1 July

These dates are all confirmed, barring unforeseen circumstances that may necessitate a change, if so this will be advised in good time, depending on Meeting Room availability.

Usually we see LITTERS FIRST, aiming to minimise the exposure of any 8-week-old pups whose initial vaccination response status remains uncertain, to adult dogs coming in from different regions and kennelling situations. In those breeds where a once-only Gonioscopy Test is required (usually at 18-24 months, in addition to a current ACES Adult Exam), the Gonioscopy Test is charged as an addition to the ACES exam fee, depending on numbers.

There is a set Scale of Fees applicable at these Clinics – at reduced rates for all DOGS NSW Members, so long as they comply with my reasonable requests to have their paperwork in order and Microchip records readily available, also that their dogs are well disciplined and used to close handling. Fee details can be found on DOGS NSW Website (Members/News & Updates) and on Facebook: ACES Eye Clinic - DOGS NSW Members.

All ACES booking requests should be forwarded by Email to and not to my mobile (as a recorded message or a text).
Once scheduling time comes around I need to have all requests in the same Email folder if I am to give each person the time required.

Breed Clubs please note: If your members support the idea of a stand-alone ACES Clinic (e.g. in conjunction with a Heart Clinic or approved DNA Test sample collection), separate arrangements may be agreed to, if YOU book the venue and organise the appointments.

For further information on ACES Eye Certification at Orchard Hills and also in regional areas from time to time, go to the Facebook Group page ACES Eye Clinic - Dogs NSW Members

Dr Bruce Robertson BVSc Cert.V.Ophthal (RCVS) FANZCVS (Ophthalmology)
Veterinary Eye Specialist (Sydney, ret.)

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Attention French & British Bulldog Breeders/Owners


As you may be aware, in 2017 a French Bulldog Task Force was implemented by ANKC Ltd to deal with issues that arose regarding the registration of French & British Bulldogs on the Main Register whose colours did not comply with the ANKC Ltd Breed Standards for those breeds. A Press Release in relation to the ANKC Taskforce can be found via the following link:- Press Release - French Bulldogs Taskforce (

Since that time DOGS NSW Board of Directors has convened a Compliance Investigative Panel to oversee the conduct of inspection of all French & British Bulldogs, who are currently on the Main Register, at the time of registration of litters and/or transfer of ownership, where the pedigree of those Main Register dogs contain prefixes that have been identified as:-

a. Producing litters using dogs and bitches that carry genetic traits allowing progeny to be colours other than those approved for ANKC Ltd Main Register registration.
b. Having imported dogs/semen of non recognised ‘colours’ that do not comply with ANKC breed standard requirements.

For those breeders/owners whose dogs are required to be inspected and that reside in the Sydney Metropolitan area, the DOGS NSW Compliance Investigative Panel conduct inspections on the fourth Wednesday of the month between 3.00pm and 4.00pm at the DOGS NSW Complex (Secretary’s Hut), 44 Luddenham Road, Orchard Hills NSW 2148.

For those breeders/owners who reside in Regional NSW, arrangements can be made for an approved Verifier to take photographs of the subject dog, confirm identification by microchip scanning and completion of the relevant Verification form. The photographs and Verification form are then submitted to the DOGS NSW Compliance Investigation Panel for determination of colour.

Further information in relation to the DOGS NSW Compliance Investigative Panel can be found on the DOGS NSW website by clicking here.

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Members are advised that DOGS NSW grounds have sufficiently dried out since the recent flooding, and that the grounds have now been RE-OPENED to members and visitors.

The grounds are now open from 7.00am to 4.00pm daily.

DOGS NSW apologises for any inconvenience the recent ground closures are incurred.

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DOGS NSW Grounds CLOSED for this Weekend- 27 & 28 March 2021


Please be advised that due to the recent extreme weather conditions and flooding of grounds, the DOGS NSW Executive Committee has resolved as follows:

THAT the recommendation of the Chair of the Grounds Committee to close the DOGS NSW grounds this upcoming weekend, ie, Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 March 2021 be approved and that the relevant Clubs be advised accordingly.

Therefore, the Clubs that will be affected will be required to apply to the Show Committee for a change of date.

DOGS NSW apologises for any inconvenience this has caused. Further notice will be given via email, the DOGS NSW app and Facebook when the conditions improve and the grounds re-open.​

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FCI Webinar Invitation


The invitation for the FCI Webinar on Fighting Anti-Breeding Propaganda can be found here

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Scheduled Shows for 27 & 28 March 2021

Members are advised that the Shows scheduled at Orchard Hills for this coming weekend, 27th & 28th March will proceed as planned. Improved weather conditions are forecast towards the end of the week, however the Grounds Team have advised that some parking areas may be unavailable due to minor flooding. As such, access to some of the regular parking areas may be restricted. DOGS NSW will provide further updates as they become available.
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For the Urgent Attention of All Members of DOGS NSW - Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment Bill 2021


Dear Members,
This is probably among the most important reports I have presented to you. Please read carefully. I urge you to act immediately. 

On Tuesday, 16 March 2021, a delegation from DOGS NSW including President Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc, Honorary Solicitor, Mr Malcolm McDonald and I, as Senior Vice President, met with representatives of Shooters Fishers Farmers Party (the Party):
•    Mark Banasiak NSW Upper House Member 
•    Philip Donato, MP, Member for Orange.

We had discussions with the representatives of the Party present in relation to, the adverse impact of the current RSPCA Breeder Compliance Unit auditing of hobbyists or recreational breeders on the basis that these breeders were Animal Traders and, as such, Commercial Breeders which has resulted in a depth of anxiety throughout our community. 

It is our deep concern that this may lead to the extinction of many pure bred breeds in NSW, paving the way for the proliferation of the large Commercial businesses, where puppies are raised in albeit, sterile, but impersonal, battery style facilities.

Following the announcement of the proposed Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment (Increased Penalties) Bill, The Shooter, Fishers and Farmers Party have taken up the fight for hobbyist animal breeders, who are being unfairly targeted by animal welfare agencies.

Part of this fight includes moving an amendment to POCTAA that will redefine what it means to be Animal Trade. This will require animal welfare agencies to perform checks and balances prior to entering small hobby or recreational breeders’ properties and imposing large penalties or confiscating animals that relate to breaches of the Code for Breeding Dogs and Cats but NOT for matters relating to Cruelty to Animals.

For many years DOGS NSW has advocated for a change to the definition of Animal Trade. A recent review of our current Breeder statistics revealed that this proposed amendment will bring relief to approx. 98% of our membership holding a current prefix.

It is vital that we urge all Political Parties, whatever their persuasion, to support this amendment, which is likely to go to the Upper House in the coming week.


Proposed Amendment to POCTA proposed by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party NSW Inc. 

Meaning of “animal trade” 
[1A] Section 4(1), definition of “animal trade” 
Omit the definition. Insert instead:
Animal trade means a trade, business or profession- 
(a) the proceeds of which have generated income for a person in the previous financial year on which income tax would have been payable under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 of the Commonwealth, even if the person were to have had no other source of income, and 
(b) In the course of which an animal is kept or used for a purpose prescribed for the purposes of this definition, but not if- 
(i) The animal is a greyhound, and 
(ii) It is kept or used for an activity by the greyhound racing industry participant who is registered under the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 to carry on that activity. 

Please share this information in your efforts in supporting the amendment to the Bill. Time is of the essence- it is imperative ALL interested citizens i.e. 
•    Members
•    Family
•    Friends 
•    Those who have adopted a precious purebred puppy

Contact the following MP’s as matter of urgency

Contact details can be found by following the links:

1. Your local member - click here for the link.
2. Premier Gladys Berejiklian - click here for contact details. 
3. John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade, Leader of The Nationals - click here for contact details. 
4. Paul Toole, Member for Bathurst, Deputy Leader of The Nationals - Email:
5. Adam Marshall Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW -  click here for contact details. 
6. Shelley Hancock Minister for Local Government - click here for contact details.
7. Leader of the opposition Jodi McKay - Email:
8. Member for Maitland and Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Jenny Aitchison - Email:

Mrs Lynette Brown
Senior Vice President - DOGS NSW


Letter to Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Ms Jenny Aitchison from DOGS NSW President, Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc

Members, please click here to view the recent correspondence sent to the Member for Maitland, Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Ms Jenny Aitchison from DOGS NSW President, Dr Karen Hedberg BVSc, dated 17 March 2021.





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