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, vomiting, refusing food and fatigue.
Later signs include difficulty eating or breathing, hind leg incoordination or wobbliness, gagging, wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is vital that you seek vet treatment as soon as possible if you see any of these symptoms.
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 and your vet will shave your pet to find them and remove.
Clinical signs may progress even after ticks are removed and it is not uncommon for a pet to die after a tick has been removed if treatment isn’t sought. Treatment involves the administration of antivenene.
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