The dangers of Paralysis Ticks

Did you know that at least 10,000 cats and dogs are presented to veterinarians for treatment for paralysis ticks each year? Your pets’ lives can be at risk from just one tick! The good news is that tick paralysis is a preventable disease.

At Murrumba Downs Vet we recommend and stock Bravecto, Simparica & Nexgard. Paralysis tick treatment can be very costly, treatment can cost upwards of $1500 dollars! Prevention can cost as little as $20 dollars per month for a medium sized dog.

As with most diseases, prevention is better than treatment. There is no one treatment guaranteed to stop your dog or cat getting ticks, but we can reduce the likelihood and ensure that any tick that does attach is killed before it has come to cause severe problems.

Some facts you should know about Paralysis ticks:

  • Paralysis ticks can be found in southeast QLD all year around.
  • The Paralysis tick is the single most dangerous tick for dogs and cats in Australia.
  • After attaching and feeding, a paralysis tick starts producing a potent toxin that affects the animals' central nervous system and causes progressive paralysis and possible death.
  • Ticks like bush and shrub areas.
  • If you find a paralysis tick on your pet, you should remove it straight away and seek medical advice. Keep the tick to show your local vet if you are unsure what kind of tick it is.

If your pet has been bitten by a tick, you may notice the following signs and symptoms.

  • Wobbly gait, unable to stand or ambulate normally (especially the back legs)
  • Heavy breathing (panting, noisy breathing and possible retching and grunting)
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
    - Heavy salivation
    - Collapse

Clinical signs are usually seen within 3-5 days of attachment. Progression of these signs are rapid and animals can deteriorate rapidly in 24 to 48 hours. Even when you find and remove it, your pet is not out of the woods. They can still develop symptoms several days after removing a tick.

Whatever product you choose to use on your pet, the most important thing is to physically check your pet for ticks every day. Run your fingertips through the coat systematically checking the whole skin surface. Most ticks will attach around the head, neck, chest and shoulders but they can be sneaky and attach anywhere even inside the mouth and between to toes.

If you would like any more information on paralysis ticks or would like to know more about preventative products, please phone the clinic and chat with one of our friendly team members.