With tick season underway, Gold Coast pet owners are urged to be proactive to protect their dogs and cats.
It is estimated at least 10,000 dogs and cats are presented to veterinarians for tick treatment each year, with many animals dying as a result of just one tick bite.
Dr. Kevin Cruickshank from Gold Coast Vet Surgery said pet owners should prioritise tick prevention.
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“All too often I have seen the devastating outcome for both pets and owners when paralysis tick preventatives are not administered,” he said.
“The good news is, there are excellent long-lasting preventative options available for both dogs and cats.
“Since these newer generation products have been available, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of paralysis tick cases. Don’t leave it until it’s too late – paralysis tick season is here now.”
Here are some tips to effectively minimise the risk of tick paralysis in your pet:
- Preventative treatment – Every at-risk dog and cat should have access to effective tick prevention.
- Daily inspections – Daily inspection gives the best chance of finding a tick before severe symptoms develop. Use your fingertips to feel your pet’s coat. Start at the head and work your hands down to each paw, ensuring you check every fold and between each claw for any lumps. If you find a tick, consult your vet immediately to show you the best removal method.
- Symptoms – Dogs developing tick paralysis typically show weakness of their back legs and a wobbly walk, which then progresses to total paralysis of all four legs. They may also regurgitate food due to weakness of muscles in their throat and oesophagus. Cats get agitated and develop a funny breathing pattern with a soft grunt as they breathe out. Weakness is typically less obvious to their owners, at least in early stages.
Australia’s paralysis tick season runs from about September to March.