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Tips On Ticks

Paralysis Ticks can be extremely dangerous to our pets.  They can even be deadly.  Did you know that the Paralysis Tick can cause severe cardiac, respiratory and muscle weakness, eventually killing their prey after only 4-5 days of attachment?  At VetShopAustralia.com.au we have compiled a Tips on Ticks Guide as a tool to help you avoid the dangers of this deadly parasite this tick season.


 


Finding Paralysis Ticks on Your Pet

  1. Don’t try to look for ticks, try to feel for them instead.  Ticks are a lot easier to find if you rub your fingertips through your pet's coat rather than if you try to look for them. Your pet will enjoy the patting and rubbing too!
  2. Be systematic with your search. Start from one end of your pet and slowly but carefully make your way to the other   end.  The majority of ticks are found forward of the front legs, around the ears, neck and face, however they can also be found between toes, armpits and your pets anus so make sure you check their entire body.
  3. If you do this daily, there is a greater chance that you will find ticks and eliminate any chance of tick paralysis.

 


Removing Ticks

If you happen to find a tick, remove it as quickly as possible.  With a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and twist and swivel the tick out.  Under no circumstance should you use any irritant substances such as turpentine or petrol.  Although these may eventually kill the tick they also appear to irritate the tick, causing it to release more poison before it dies. 

Once the tick has been removed, have your dog or cat checked out by a veterinarian or at least discuss it with them even if your pet appears totally healthy.  And if you are in any doubt about safely removing a tick from your dog, seek veterinary assistance. Remember when one tick is found others may be hiding somewhere else so please keep checking!


Signs of Tick Poisoning

Signs of tick toxicity may include:

  • A change in voice; the bark or meow changes pitch and/or becomes softer
  • Weakness in the back legs
  • Loss of balance and a tendency to sit down suddenly
  • Unusual and/or laboured breathing
  • Vomiting and excessive salivation
  • Inability to stand up
  • Incontinence (due to paralysis)

Be aware that it may be days after the tick has attached to your pet for the signs of poisoning to appear.  Please seek urgent veterinary attention if you suspect your pet has been poisoned by a tick.


Prevention

Preventing ticks outright is a much safer and cheaper alternative than treating the condition once it has occurred.   During the tick season it is extremely crucial to perform daily checks on your pet alongside treating them.  By using products such as Frontline Spray, Frontline Plus or Advantix every two weeks, in combination with a tick collar such as the Preventic Tick Collar or Kiltix Tick Collar, you are giving your dog the best protection available.

In addition to daily searching, cat owners in high risk areas should use Frontline Spray every three weeks. For those cats that won’t be sprayed, at VetShopAustralia we suggest Frontline Plus for Cats. This product has no actual claim for prevention of ticks in cats, but we have found it appears to work quite well when applied every 14 days.