Ticks are on the rise this year. Local vets have reported higher cases of tick paralysis than normal. Rising tick cases have also been reported by vets down in the Gold Coast.
Tick season changes slightly every year, depending on the weather. As a general rule, we need to be particularly vigilant for ticks from September to February. But in South East Queensland, it’s not uncommon to report tick cases earlier in the year, as has happened this year. Warm weather plus rain both contribute to higher levels of ticks. Considering we had a wet winter and are expected to have another wet spring/summer, pet owners must be across the signs of ticks and how to prevent tick paralysis. Read on for everything you need to know.
What are paralysis ticks?
The Australian paralysis tick can produce and inject a lethal neurotoxin that can result in fatal paralysis in our pets. Paralysis ticks can be brought into our backyards, nearby bushland and parks by native wildlife, including bandicoots and possums. This is because these animals are generally immune to the neurotoxin. They instead act as a reservoir host for the paralysis tick, showing no symptoms of illness.
What are the signs of tick paralysis in pets?
Tick paralysis is a horrifying disease. The neurotoxin from the tick impacts muscle groups that can be controlled consciously. This includes muscles our pets use to breathe, swallow, move and even blink.
Signs of tick paralysis in pets include:
- Hind limb or generalised paralysis
- Abnormal breathing
- Wobbly walking (Ataxia) and/or unwilling to stand
- Abnormal bark or meow
- Drooling or collapse
- Loss of blinking
The onset of tick paralysis is rapid. Pets can become seriously ill within a short period of time. The inability to lift their chest to breathe can lead to suffocation. Another dangerous condition that can occur with tick paralysis is aspiration pneumonia. This is triggered by the pet’s inability to control its swallowing.
Tick paralysis is a preventable disease
Fortunately, tick paralysis is a preventable disease. Today, there is a range of excellent tick prevention products available on the market to protect our precious pets from tick paralysis. These tick prevention products are an effective way to drastically reduce the risk of your pet being affected by tick paralysis. Tick prevention products can be monthly, 3-monthly or 6-monthly treatments. As a pet owner, you’re best off heading down to your local vet to chat through which tick prevention product is best for your pet. Be sure to keep your pet up to date with their tick prevention treatment so you can rest assured they have the best possible protection.
Regional Queensland hit by the ‘COVID-19’ for dogs
While tick paralysis has been on the rise in South-East Queensland, earlier this year, the deadly disease ‘canine ehrlichiosis’ spread through regional Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with a case eventually reaching Queensland in early July. Canine ehrlichiosis is another tick-borne disease with a high fatality risk. The disease is spread to dogs by the brown tick, which can infect a dog in less than an hour. This disease has been most catastrophic in the Northern Territory, where thousands of dogs have passed after being infected. For prevention of this particular disease (that has no vaccine), dog owners have been strongly urged by vets to use two forms of tick prevention.
We all want the best care for our pets
Our pet’s safety and happiness is the priority. No one understands this better than the dedicated team here at Samford Pet Resort. We provide award-winning accommodation as well as Doggy Day Care to keep your pets happy, entertained and most of all, safe while you are away. In the unlikely event a pet is unwell, we can swiftly organise veterinary treatment. To learn more about our services, be sure to get in touch with our helpful team on (07) 3289 1600 or email us here.