Paralysis ticks

With the colder weather comes paralysis tick season. These ticks are carried into our yards by native animals, which are not really affected by them. However, our dogs and cats are.

Signs of paralysis tick envenomation
⦁ Wobbly back legs/unable to get up
⦁ Retching/vomiting
⦁ Trouble breathing

What to do if you find a tick
⦁ Either remove the tick, or use metho to kill it on the animal before removing it
⦁ Keep the tick in a small container
⦁ If your animal is not affected, keep a close eye on them for the next 12–24 hours (they can continue to go downhill after you remove the tick)
⦁ If your pet is showing any of the above signs, we need to treat them ASAP
⦁ Bring the tick in to the vets with you so we can identify it
⦁ Sometimes the tick may have already fallen off by the time your pet shows signs. When the tick is removed/falls off, it leaves a ‘crater’ (large lump with a sore in the middle), this is diagnostic in deciding if your pet has paralysis tick

What treatment involves
⦁ Your pet will require hospitalisation
⦁ We will place a catheter in their vein so we can give it tick antiserum
⦁ We may need to give them a number of other drugs, including antibiotics (one of the most common and serious complications of tick paralysis is pneumonia)
⦁ Your pet may require medication for their eyes, as they may not be able to blink

Prevention
⦁ Daily searching is always the best
⦁ Advantix or Frontlline used every two weeks
⦁ Tick collars—we recommend Kiltix or Preventic brands

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