Three cases of Tick Paralysis in One Week

Check out this weeks Petfocus Vet article featured in todays Border Mail.
Chase is our latest little victim of Paralysis ticks envenomation out of three cases this week and is one of the lucky ones that has survived treatment very well!

With summer fast approaching, and the coast calling, it’s time to make sure your pets are protected against paralysis ticks. Fortunately, paralysis ticks do not live here on the Border, however sadly, Petfocus Vetcare treated three cases just last week from people travelling from the coast back to the area. If you are taking your pet with you to the coast it is important that you seek professional advice about an appropriate prevention prior to your departure. It is also important to note, that ticks can be transported on clothing, vehicles and plants from coastal areas back to your home.

The female ticks (Ixodes holocyclus and Ixodes cornuatus) excrete a neurotoxin in her saliva that causes lower motor neuron dysfunction and is injected into your pet when the she has a blood meal. Clinical signs of tick paralysis include; paralysis that begins in the hind limbs and ascends, weakness, dilated pupils, difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing.   The tick can live on your pet for 3-7 days before they have a blood meal and clinical signs are observed.

Here are some ticks to help avoid tick paralysis in your pets:

·  If you’re traveling to the coast with your pet, talk to your veterinarian about tick prevention prior to your departure.

·  Even if your pet is on tick prevention, check them for ticks every time they have been in a tick inhabited area. They are usually found on the head, neck and feet. If you find a tick contact a veterinarian.

·  Wash any towels, clothes and bedding and vacuum your car immediately when returning from a coastal holiday. Alternatively, call into the clinic to pick up treatment for your pet to eradicate the ticks.

Tick envenomation is a serious and life threatening disease. If you find a tick on your pet, please seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. Animals may require hospitalisation and supportive care for several days in severe cases.