Paralysis ticks are a serious concern in our area on the Sunshine Coast, especially during the “tick season” from the end of July to Christmas time. Each year, sadly, many pets and other animals are lost because of tick poisoning.One tick is enough to kill a pet, so it is important to be careful with your pet, especially during the season. Here are a number of important points with ticks …
- Be vigilant and recognise the early signs of tick poisoning. These signs include
- Dullness, lethargy
- Change in bark or meow
- Weakness in the legs, usually first seen in the backlegs
- A grunt-type respiration that becomes more labored as the poisoning progresses
- If your pet is affected by any other these signs, it important to treat early (rather than “wait and see”). Not only does early treatment increase the chances of recovery, but it is much cheaper than having to fight to save a severely affected pet with a higher risk of death.
- Where possible, keep your pet out of areas where ticks are most likely to be. This includes forests, long-grassed areas, around scrub and creek banks and places where the natural hosts (bandicoots and echidnas) live.
- There is no complete means of prevention that is 100% effective. The most important thing is systematic daily searching on your pets. This means physically looking and running your fingers throughout their body, paying particular attention to the area around the face, lips, ears, necks, and in between the toes … as well as the rest of the pet. This is made easier by training your pet to allow you search all these areas of the body and by keeping the coat well groomed or even cut short through the tick season.
- Back up you daily search with the use of TICKICIDES. The type used will vary depending upon your situation and here our well-trained staff can guide you in selecting the best ones that suit your pet/s.
For dogs, the options include …
- Use of monthly tablets such as Nexgard or Simparica, or 3-monthly tablets such as “Bravecto
- Dips or Rinses … e.g. Fido’s Rinse Concentrate, Permoxin
- Fortnightly topspots … e.g Frontline, Advantix
- Tick collars … e.g. Preventic, Kiltix, Scalibor
For cats, the options include …
- Spraying thoroughly every 3 weeks with Frontline
- Dipping/rinsing in Fido’s Rinse Concentrate every 3 days
**** For more information or a copy of our “Tick Poisoning” advice handout, just ask at the surgery.