Spring is here and with it comes an unwanted pest for dogs and cats - the Paralysis Tick.para-tick

New ticks hatch at this time of the year and are particularly toxic to dogs and cats. Many native animals have developed a resistance to the ticks poison, including their natural host the bandicoot, but unfortunately most dogs and cats are badly affected if a tick attaches to them.  The paralysis tick injects a poison into the system which progressively paralyses the host animal. Early signs of tick paralysis include vomiting, a change of bark and faster breathing. This quickly progresses to hind and forelimb paralysis and finally death.

Traditionally we have very few ticks in the Kalinga/Wooloowin and Wavell Heights areas but this year seems to be a bit different. There seems to be a lot more ticks around and already in early spring we are finding ticks on dogs on a regular basis and have had several cases of paralysis. Perhaps all the rain we had last summer has created more favourable conditions. Similarly you don't have to travel too far from this area for ticks to be seen - notably the Sunshine Coast, a popular weekend and holiday destination.  Every spring and summer we have animals in hospital with tick paralysis - the result of dogs picking up ticks further afield and bringing them home.

If you are taking your dog into tick areas we recommend the following precautions:

Daily Searching - Ticks are usually found from the shoulders forward in areas including the head, neck, face and forelimbs.  If found the tick should be killed first using an insecticidal spray then removed by grabbing it as close to the skin as possible and twisting it out.

Advantix - is the newest tick control available.  It comes in the form of a spot on application between the shoulder blades.  Advantix should be applied every 2 weeks with the first treatment being at least 2 days before entering a tick area.  Advantix is a dog only treatment.

Frontline Top Spot and Spray - will also kill ticks for up to 2 weeks and should be applied at least 2 days before entering a tick area.  This is a popular and easy treatment.

Tick Collars - (similar to flea collars, but with a different active ingredient) are increasing in popularity and will kill ticks for up to a 3 month.  Certain tick collars have different requirements, and must be used correctly to work.  Please contact us on 3357 1588 to discuss which collars would be most effective and how they need to be used.

Bathing - using an insecticidal rinse that kills ticks is a popular additional treatment.