Our pets love the summer just as much as we do! It’s a great time of year to be outside enjoying the warmth and sunshine but also important that you recognise the dangers of the Paralysis Tick to our pets during the warmer months.

What are Paralysis Ticks and how do they spread?

Paralysis ticks are found ramped up and down the East coast of Australia. They thrive in warm and humid habitats, feeding off warm blooded another while injecting a nasty paralysing toxin. This tick is incredibly toxic and potentially life threatening to pets. The paralysis tick especially loves to reside in areas of native scrub and bushland, and areas with long grass cover, which are areas where various wildlife that play natural host to the tick tend to be found.

But avoiding these areas does not reliably prevent a paralysis tick from latching onto your pet. In our region, the risk of a pet acquiring a tick seems to exist regardless; but avoiding these sorts of areas does seem to reduce the risk. Also, very importantly, ticks can definitely be acquired at any time of year, however there seems to be a sharp increase in risk from early spring onwards, well into summer

What does the Paralysis Tick do to my pet?

After attaching, the tick feeds on the host’s blood, injecting small amounts of saliva into the dog or cat in the process. The tick’s saliva contains a potent nerve toxin that causes the connection between nerves and muscles throughout the body to malfunction.

This causes weakness, which can manifest itself in many ways including:

  • Wobbly hind legs and difficulty walking
  • Coughing
  • Regurgitation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Complete paralysis

The effects of paralysis can become so severe that your pet will be unable to walk or lift its head, and without treatment, the majority of affected animals will ultimately pass away.

If your pet shows any of the symptoms mentioned you must seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. Even if you have removed a tick yourself, your pet is still not out of the woods. The toxin has already begun to spread throughout your pet’s system, and without treatment, progression of paralysis and worsening of signs is virtually certain.

For assistance in finding the best tick prevention for your pet contact us.