Pet owners urged to check for ticks now
THE recent heat and rain means a higher risk of ticks on our pets, warns head of UQ Veterinarian General Practice Dr Donna Parker.
"That risk will only continue through until autumn,” Dr Parker said.
"Our main tick of concern for dogs, cats and other pets is the paralysis tick.
"While other ticks potentially carry diseases or can become a welfare issue, the paralysis tick can quickly cause a potentially life-threatening paralysis of muscles throughout the body, including those needed to breathe.”
Dr Parker said the cost of treating tick paralysis can end up in the thousands, so prevention was always a cheaper option.
"For dog owners there are plenty of great options on the market for tick prevention and pet owners should discuss this with their vet clinic about which options are best,” Dr Parker said.
"For cat owners, unfortunately there is only one option (a spray) available as a registered tick prevention method.
"Pet owners are encouraged to check their pet's coat over daily for ticks and remove any ticks immediately if found. Clipping long haired animals may also help.”
Dr Parker reminded owners that ticks could wind up in strange places on pets.
"Sometimes they can be found in the ears, mouths and in between toes of pets and owners are encouraged to keep this in mind when searching their pets,” she said.
"It is important that owners know what signs to look out for when it comes to tick paralysis.
"Unfortunately in the early stages these signs can be very subtle or vague, however signs typically progress over the first 24-48 hours.”
The common signs of tick paralysis include: wobbliness when walking or inability to stand; difficulty breathing; vomiting/regurgitation; and coughing/retching.
"Should these signs be noticed after hours, UQVETs have veterinarians on site 24/7 to assess your pet,” Dr Parker said.