Are you ready for Tick season?
Tick season is upon us. The paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is one of the most dangerous parasites you may find on your pet cat or dog, as it can cause paralysis and even death within 2-5 days. The paralysis tick is most prevalent along the East Coast of Australia (from Northern Queensland to Northern Victoria) and we have our fair share of tick cases in Brisbane and surrounding districts. Native animals, particularly possums and bandicoots are the natural host for
the paralysis tick and while they are usually not harmed by their toxin, the paralysis tick will often attach to your pet after they have been walking through bush or grass where native animals have been. Sometimes it can be difficult to locate a tick and they may be mistaken for a small lump on a pet that is not showing any signs of illness. Ticks can often hide under the tail, in between the paws, inside the mouth, in the ears, or anywhere on the body of your pet. If you happen to find a tick on your pet, it is best to remove it straight away by grasping the tick firmly where it has attached to your pet’s skin and giving a quick sideways pull. If you are not confident in removing the tick it is always best to contact your vet immediately to have it removed. If you have removed the tick yourself, keep it in a container or plastic bag and have your local vet identify it. Did you know that your pet can continue to develop life threatening paralysis and other signs for up to 24 hours after a tick has been removed? For that reason it is important to get your pet checked over by a vet after removing a tick even if your pet is not yet showing any clinical symptoms and discuss options of what to do next. What signs should you be looking for when it comes to the paralysis tick? You may notice hind leg paralysis (wobblines), difficulty swallowing, gagging, or vomiting, a change in voice (husky bark or meow), or difficult breathing. If your pet shows any of these signs or you notice a tick, notify your vet immediately. Treatment includes a thorough search and removal of all ticks. This can include clipping your pet completely and/or the use of tick prevention to kill any remaining ticks that have not been located. A tick antiserum may be administered by your vet to neutralise the tick toxin and supportive care of your pet through to recovery. While paralysis ticks are usually seen in greater numbers during the warmer temperatures, we do see ticks all year round. Therefore, keeping your pets up to date with tick prevention is very important. Ticks can easily be prevented as there are a range of tick prevention products on the market, including tasty chews such as Bravecto or Nexgard, spot on preventions, sprays and tick collars.
Feel free to have a chat with one of our friendly staff at Fetch a Vet so we can guide you in to the most suitable product to help protect your pet.