an­i­mal magic

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Dr Anne Fawcett Dr Anne Fawcett is a lec­turer in ve­teri­nary sci­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney and a vet at Syd­ney An­i­mal Hos­pi­tals In­ner West.

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.

Read her blog: smal­l­an­i­maltalk.com

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