Ticks found in town

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

VETS have con­sid­ered Stan­thorpe’s town cen­tre to be tick free un­til now.

Vet Kirstin Wid­d­er­ick is con­cerned a tick found on a cat may be the first of many and is urg­ing pet own­ers to be vig­i­lant.

“It doesn’t take much if your dog or your neigh­bour’s dog goes into a tick area and comes back with ticks’ lar­val stages,” she said.

Ticks can at­tach to any mam­mal, where they in­ject tox­ins that im­pact the an­i­mal’s res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem and heart, caus­ing in­abil­ity to move and breathe.

“First symp­toms can be paral­y­sis but gen­er­ally speak­ing their bark or their meow will change,” Dr Wid­d­er­ick said.

“The sec­ond thing is their breath­ing goes funny – their breath­ing rate will go up higher and some­times they’ll make a noise when they pant.”

Ticks can be pre­vented through tablets for dogs or spot treat­ment for cats, how­ever Dr Wid­d­er­ick urges pet own­ers to do spot checks ev­ery two days.

“They can be hard to find,” she said.

“It’s al­most like feel­ing for a scab. Al­ways check. Ticks are so good at what they do – paralysing and killing.”

Own­ers can re­move ticks them­selves by us­ing in­sect re­pel­lent and tick re­mover tools but must take care not to squeeze the tick’s body.

“It will ac­tu­ally in­ject more toxin quickly,” Dr Wid­d­er­ick said. “Don’t use metho or kerosene, it just ag­gra­vates them.”

Any­one con­cerned about re­mov­ing a tick should con­tact their vet.


SPOT CHECK: Vet Kirstin Wid­d­er­ick is re­mind­ing own­ers of long-haired an­i­mals to keep their hair trimmed so it’s eas­ier to spot and feel ticks. IN­SET: Mr Big­gles did not sur­vive his paral­y­sis tick.

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