Re­cent heat and rain mean an in­creased risk of ticks on our pets. Dr Shan­non Coyne from Gympie Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices said paral­y­sis ticks were the main area for con­cern, par­tic­u­larly when it came to dogs and cats. “While other ticks can carry dis­eases and af­fect an­i­mal wel­fare, paral­y­sis ticks can quickly be­come life-threat­en­ing,” Dr Coyne said. “Al­though slower act­ing than a snake bite, tick venom is just as deadly, and po­ten­tially fa­tal paral­y­sis can man­i­fest just three days af­ter a tick at­taches,” Dr Coyne said. The cost of treat­ing tick paral­y­sis can end up in the thou­sands, and pre­ven­tion is al­ways a safer and cheaper op­tion. “For a flat an­nual fee, our Best Mates Pro­gram pro­vides pet own­ers with ac­cess to a host of free and dis­counted ser­vices that proac­tively pro­tect pet health, in­clud­ing vet con­sul­ta­tions, par­a­site treat­ment and groom­ing. It’s a sim­ple and cost ef­fec­tive way to en­sure proper pet care, while min­imis­ing yearly vet costs.” Paral­y­sis ticks are present year round, but most ac­tive dur­ing the warmer spring and sum­mer months, par­tic­u­larly be­tween late Au­gust and Novem­ber. Dr Coyne said pet own­ers should act quickly if they find ticks. Com­mon signs of tick paral­y­sis in­clude wob­bli­ness when walk­ing or in­abil­ity to stand, dif­fi­culty breath­ing, vom­it­ing/re­gur­gi­ta­tion, and cough­ing/retch­ing. “If it is tick paral­y­sis, the best course of ac­tion is to bring the an­i­mal to a vet for treat­ment as quickly as pos­si­ble,” Dr Coyne said.

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