Beware of The Nasty Paralysis Tick

Ticks are parasites and the one to worry about here in Queensland is the dreaded Paralysis Tick. It attaches to the host (your pet) and injects a toxin when it feeds on your pet’s blood.

The toxin causes ascending paralysis through the body. meaning it starts at the back quarters and works its way up the body to the head end regardless of where the tick attaches.

Once the toxin has been injected into the pet’s blood stream signs start to appear.

 

Signs of a Paralysis Tick include:

  •  Staggering or wobbly back legs
  • Inability to walk or stand
  • Unable to urinate
  • Voice change
  • Vomiting
  • Not wanting to eat or drink
  • Increased respiratory effort
  • Agitation/ stress
  • Unable to blink or eye ball looks dry

There is also a high risk of aspiration pneumonia (build up of fluid on the lungs), due to the ‘swallowing’ reflex of your pet being affected.

The time frame from the tick attaching to your pet and symptoms starting to show can vary, but it is usually within 2-3 days, however it can be as short as 24 hours.

Even if you remove the tick and there is no clinical signs at the time you can still get tick paralysis up to 5 days later (usually within 72hrs). It is important to keep the pet as quiet and as stress free as possible during this time.

Tick Prevention:

  • Check your pet daily for ticks by running your fingers through their coat
  • use tick preventions that are safe (never use dog tick prevention on cats)

First Aid Treatment:

  • Remove the tick once found (making sure you grab it by its head with tweezers and pull it away)
  • Keep the animal quiet and as stress free as possible
  • Take them to the vet as soon as soon as possible especially if any signs appear (you never know how long the tick has been there)
  • If possible, take the tick with you to the vet for identification

If there are any tick signs and you are unable to remove it or locate it take your pet straight to the vet or animal emergancy.

Tick Treatment

Once your pet is at the vet, treatment may consist of but is not limited to:

  • Sedation
  • Drug therapy as necessary
  • Tick anti serum
  • Intravenous fluid therapy
  • Eye care
  • Bladder Care
  • Hospitalisation
  • In severe cases artificial ventilation is required

The paralysis tick can kill. It is vital that the treatment is sought once signs are present.

Although treatment may be expensive it is essential and must not be delayed. The sooner your pet is examined and treated by a veterinarian the greater chance of survival and the shorter the hospital stay.

Here are Paddington Pups we take Flea and Tick control very seriously and we are always more than happy to help with any of the tick prevention products we have; just ask one of our friendly staff for help.

 

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