Tick Paralysis

Leading into Summer and preparing to go on holidays, means as pet owners we need to check our destinations to see if we need to provide tick prevention to our animals.

Tick paralysis is a potentially devastating condition that can affect dogs, cats and humans.  Ticks need humidity and mild weather to develop and are not able to survive in cold climates.  Ticks are most commonly found along the east coast of Australia during the warmer months but can be found inland in suitable habitats.

 Ticks attach to dogs, cats and humans, secreting a paralysing toxin as they feed. Once the tick attaches onto dogs and cats, they then burrow their mouth parts into the skin.  The tick feeds on the host’s blood, injecting small amounts of toxic saliva into the animal which causes weakness and ultimately paralysis. 

Prevention is the best cure.  There are excellent products available that are long-lasting and easy to administer.  Most tick prevention products also cover fleas, but they are different products for dogs & cats.  Some dog tick products that contain permethrin are toxic to cats so separate products are required within the family to avoid life-threatening poisoning.

Even when using preventative products, it is important to check the animal’s skin daily while away and for weeks after returning.  It has been known for ticks to be transported home in camping equipment and then transferring onto our pets. If possible, it is best to avoid bush habitats, have long-haired pets clipped to make it easier to find ticks and check every part of each pet daily.  If a tick is found, remove it immediately with tweezers by gently pulling upwards and then seek veterinary advice immediately.

When preparing for holidays it is always easy to overlook these necessities.  We always have these products available and are happy to offer advice.