IS your pet protected against ticks? Paralysis ticks claim the lives of hundreds to thousands of dogs and cats on the east coast of Australia, but tick envenomation (the process of venom being injected into the animal by a bite or sting) is preventable.
Early signs of tick paralysis include a change in their bark or meow, or fatigue. Later signs include difficulty eating or breathing, hind leg incoordination or wobbliness, gagging, wheezing and coughing. In severe cases, animals may collapse. Because the venom impacts your pet’s ability to swallow, there is a risk of pneumonia.
Tick paralysis can be tricky to diagnose. Ticks and tick craters (left by ticks that have fallen or been groomed off) can be notoriously difficult to find in fur. Often more than one tick is found on an animal. Treatment involves administration of antivenom.
In severe cases, mechanical ventilation may be required.
Prevention is much better than a cure and it’s getting easier. Tick preventatives now come in the form of oral medications, collars, spot-ons and sprays.
Talk to your vet about the best option for your pet.
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