Paralysis Ticks

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Google Maps location for Forest Animal Hospital 247

Forest Animal Hospital 24/7
612 Warringah Rd, Cnr Warringah Rd & Ferguson St
Forestville
NSW 2087

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Phone:
02 9451 4840

Northern Districts Veterinary Hospital
67 May Rd, Cnr Warringah Rd
Dee Why
NSW 2099

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Phone:
02 9971 6562
Fax:
02 9971 2308

BEWARE - the whole of the Northern Beaches has high tick numbers. The main season is September to February however we consistently see cases all year round.

Please make sure that your pet is on adequate tick prevention and that you are doing daily tick searches. Also consider getting your animal clipped if they have a long coat to aid in rapid location of a tick.

Paralysis ticks can range in size from a 1mm nymph tick to 10mm fully engorged adult. They are a light grey colour (darker/browner when nymphs) with all their legs near their head at one end of the body. TICKS OF ALL LIFE STAGES AND ALL SIZES CAN CAUSE PARALYSIS.

Prevention options:

NO PRODUCT IS 100% EFFECTIVE, SO DAILY TICK SEARCHES ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT WAY OF PREVENTING TICK PARALYSIS.

We recommend the following products to help control ticks:

DOGS

Advantix Spot-on every 2 weeks

NB highly toxic to cats- do not use on cats and use with caution in households with cats.

Frontline Spot-on every 2 weeks- safe for households with cats.

With both Frontline and Advantix your dog must not be bathed or get wet for 48hrs either side of application otherwise the product will not be absorbed

Frontline Spray every 3 weeks - The dose is based on bodyweight, so you need to calculate the number of sprays for your pet based on the label instructions. We recommend applying the tick prevention dose. The product needs to be distributed throughout the coat taking care around the eyes, nose and mouth.

If you need help in applying any of these products or want to make sure your are applying them correctly, please feel free to contact us. We can organise a time to either apply the product for you, or demonstrate how to do it correctly.

Tick collars - can be used as an extra on top of a spot on rather than on its own. We do not recommend using them as your only tick prevention.

Not to be worn when dog gets in contact with water (bathing or swimming).

NB toxic to cats- do not use on cats and use with caution in households with cats.

Please contact us to discuss which collars are safe with which spot on prevention.

CATS

Frontline Spray every 3 weeks - every 3 weeks - The dose is based on bodyweight, so you need to calculate the number of sprays for your pet based on the label instructions. We recommend applying the tick prevention dose. The product needs to be distributed throughout the coat taking care around the eyes, nose and mouth. NB This is the only licensed product available for cats

Frontline Spot-on every 2 weeks. This product is not licensed for prevention of ticks in cats because they have not done the testing to get it. We do still recommend using this product if you (or we) cannot Frontline spray your cat, as we feel it does work but we do know how long it is effective for so we recommend every 2 weeks application, the same as in dogs.

Symptoms to monitor for:

 

  • Disinterest in food or difficulties eating
  • Vomiting or dry retching
  • Excessive salivation
  • Voice change
  • Wobbly/ weak hind legs (as disease progresses paralysis extends to forelimbs
  • Laboured or difficult breathing
  • Collapse

If you notice any of these symptoms even without finding a tick please contact us immediately.

What if I find a tick?

If you find a tick on your pet, but they are not showing any clinical signs the tick can be removed and the animal should be monitored for any development of clinical signs. If you are confident to do so, please feel free to remove the tick at home, if not please come to the surgery for us to remove it for you.

It is imperative to closely monitor your pet after a tick has been removed. It can take up to 48 hours for clinical signs to develop. We advise you to keep your animal rested with no exercise or stressful, excitable situations during this 48 hour period.

If your pet starts to show any symptoms please contact us immediately, as they will likely need treatment to tick paralysis ASAP.

Tick Paralysis Treatment

Every case of tick paralysis is different, due to variations in the number and size of ticks causing the paralysis and the way it effects an individual animal. In its classic mild form an animal will have mild weakness to the back legs but it can progress rapidly to causing complete collapse and breathing difficulties. The age, health and breed of your pet can all effect how the paralysis toxin affects them.

If identified and addressed early, an animal will be treated and hospitalised for approx 24-48hrs but in more severe cases there can be a need for oxygen supplementation or ventilation, which can lead to prolonged hospital stay and potential life threatening complications. Tick paralysis at any stage is however very serious. The progression of recovery can be unpredictable and a seemingly stable animal can become critical (or die) without warning.

It is important that if you think your pet may be showing clinical signs of tick paralysis that you get them checked by a vet as soon as possible. Prompt treatment is the key to increasing the likelihood of a good outcome.

Even with the best treatment, tick paralysis can still prove fatal so PREVENTION IS THE KEY!