How to treat tick fever

  • If tick fever is suspected, contact a veterinarian for expert assistance.
  • Treat as soon as possible, or animals may not recover.
  • Have the diagnosis confirmed at a laboratory via examination of blood smears prepared from the tip of the tail or ear, taken before, or at the time of treatment. In the case of dead animals, organ smears (including brain smears) and blood smears can be taken.
  • Use an acaricide to remove ticks from all animals to reduce the risk of a secondary outbreak.

Advice for veterinarians

If the cause of the outbreak has been diagnosed, use the following treatments:

Cause

Drug

Dose rate

Route of inoculation

Babesia

Imidocarb
(Imidox®)

1 mL/100 kg

Under the skin

Anaplasma

Imidocarb
(Imidox®)

2.5 mL/100 kg

Under the skin

OR
Oxytetracycline

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations

1. If it is not certain which tick fever parasite is causing the problem, use either imidocarb (Imidox®) at the high dose rate (2.5 mL/100 kg) or imidocarb at the low dose rate (1 mL/100 kg) in combination with oxytetracycline.

2. The imidocarb withholding period (WHP) for meat is 28 days. Note that imidocarb is not registered for use in lactating dairy cattle. However, an Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority 'minor use' permit does allow its use in Queensland. The milk WHP is 14 days when lactating dairy cows are treated with a single dose at a dose rate of 1 mL/100 kg.

3. Oxytetracycline is marketed under a number of trade names with differing WHPs. Restrictions apply to the supply of oxytetracyclines; consult your local veterinarian. Your veterinarian can also advise regarding supportive treatment for very sick animals.

4. Observe manufacturer’s instructions when using any drug treatments. Reduce tissue damage when using large volumes of these drugs by injecting in multiple sites, and preferably in the neck.