Dogs and cats are both susceptible to tick paralysis, poisoning obtained from ticks. The greatest risk of tick paralysis occurs from September to December, and in bushy areas, high grass or near creeks.
Ticks are very small and dark brown when they first attach, and grow larger as they consume blood, becoming a light grey/green colour. Pets commonly start to show signs after 2-3 days, when ticks have greatly increased in size.
SIGNS OF TICK PARALYSIS
If your pet shows any of the following signs, see your vet immediately:
- Change in breathing patterns – sometimes this is the only sign they show, and it can be the most life-threatening sign
- Weak in back legs
- Unable to stand properly on back legs or cannot stand on back legs at all
- Change in bark or meow
- Cannot swallow properly
- Depressed, disinterested or slower, or have decreased tolerance for activity/exercise
FINDING A TICK
If you find a tick on your pet, call or visit your vet for help in differentiating the paralysis tick from other common ticks. Even if the tick has been removed/killed, your pet could still show signs 24-48hrs after – if your pet does show signs, take them to your vet immediately.
PREVENTING TICK PARALYSIS
The most effective and important prevention is to check over your pet’s skin daily. Ticks are commonly found from the shoulder forward (head, ears, around eyes, under lips and chin, on their chest) but they will attach anywhere on your pet’s body.
Preventatives for dogs
- Bravecto Chew, every 3 months
- Bravecto Spot On, every 6 months
- Nexguard Chews, every month
Preventatives for cats
- Bravecto Spot on, every 3 months
- Frontline Plus Spray, every 3 weeks