Due to Covid-19 and with the current travel restrictions, it appears that a lot more people are travelling within their own states and territories. There are so many wonderful coastal spots to holiday and a lot of people are taking their pets to enjoy the time off!
This brings us to talk about the paralysis tick. The paralysis tick is found on the Eastern seaboard, from North Queensland, right down to Northern Victoria. Very common in coastal areas. Ticks are usually found and cause symptoms during and after the owners come back from holidays. It only takes a few days to develop signs and for the tick to become large enough to find.
To give you a quick background – ticks are found on animals that live near thick bushland, but they can also attach themselves to cats and dogs. They suck blood from the animal, and secrete saliva. It’s the saliva that contains toxins that can cause paralysis and poisoning. When the tick finds attachment, it firmly embeds into the skin and feeds off blood. So if you see that the tick is quote engorged you know it’s had a feast!
Some clinical signs to watch out for are:
Clinical signs to watch out for are:
- Weakness in the hind legs
- Change in bark/voice
- Change in breathing
- Complete paralysis
- Vomiting or retching
What should you do if you find a tick on your pet?
Pull it off – including all mouth parts using tweezers or tick twisters. It is vital to not leave any mouth parts in as the tick’s saliva contains the toxin that causes weakness and ultimately paralysis. Monitor for the above signs and seek veterinary attention – may still needs tick antiserum even if tick has been removed.
Regardless of whether your pet has been up or down the coast, tick and flea prevention is vital. We have seen tick paralysis in a dog that had soil delivered to the house from the coast!
If you are on holidays in those coastal areas, it’s advisable to check your pets twice a day – including inside the ears and toes. Also – try to avoid walking on long grass.
We recommend Bravecto as a preventative measure. From tasty chews to simple spot-ons, Bravecto makes it easy to protect your dog and cat against the risk of fleas and paralysis ticks.
This shouldn’t stop you from going on your holiday and enjoying the valuable time with your pet. As long as preventative measures are in place you will have a wonderful time!