Some brown dog ticks were detected on two dogs in Canterbury in January 2015 and one dog in Wellington in June 2015. The dogs were treated with effective tick treatment and the situations are contained however as it is unknown how the ticks entered New Zealand the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) are asking for vigilance from veterinarians and pet owners.
The brown dog tick feeds on a wide range of mammals and birds, it can rarely infest humans, cats, horses, cattle and rodents, but dogs are its preferred host. It can carry and spread a variety of blood borne diseases that can affect both humans and animals however most of these diseases are not currently present in New Zealand so there is low risk of spread of disease.
The ticks are red- brown in colour and vary in size, depending on which life cycle stage they are in. Adult females can be as large as 1cm in length. If you think you have seen unusual ticks on a dog that could be the brown dog tick, you can contact your local veterinarian or phone MPI on 0800 80 99 66. More information can be found on the Ministry for Primary Industries website www mpi.govt.nz