Paralysis ticks are a life-threatening parasite affecting dogs and cats. Although not found in the Camden area, your animal can pick them up when visiting a tick area. They are prevalent in bushy, long grassed and sea-side areas, making dogs that take trips to the coast at the highest risk.
Paralysis ticks produce a toxin that will affect your pet’s central nervous system, causing progressive paralysis and potentially death.
The signs of tick paralysis are many and varied by can include:
• Change in the sounds of the animals bark or meow, panting or loud breathing
• Dilated pupils
• Vomiting, regurgitation or excessive salivation, loss of appetite
• Back leg weakness or in severe cases, being unable to stand or jump.
Get into the habit of checking your animal every time they have been in a tick prone area. Run your fingers slowly through your dog or cat’s fur down to the skin level and feel for any bumps. Check the entire body including between the toes, inside and behind the ears, and the armpits.
Ticks can be found up to 14 days after visiting a tick area.
Ticks vary in size depending upon the stage of the lifecycle. They range from the size of a pin head to a small grape after they have feed, a state referred to as engorged (pictured).
What to do
Ticks can be removed using a tick twister (pictured). In order to remove the whole tick, get hold of the tick as close to the skin as possible, then slowly but firmly pull the tick away or twist, if using a tick twister.
Bring it along with your animal to the vet. This will allow the vet to identify the tick and undertake any necessary treatment.
Prevention – always better the cure
Ultimately the best solution for your pet is to use preventative treatment. If you are unsure what type of treatment is right for your animal, ask your vet for a recommendation.
For dogs, there are collars, spot-ons and chews, the latter of which are some of the most effective tick preventatives as well as providing excellent flea protection. For cats, only Frontline spray is available.
Note that if you are using Advantix or Frontline, you must apply these in advance of visiting a tick area and both must be applied fortnightly for tick control.
Image source: www.australiandoglover.com