Ticks are nasty, sneaky venomous little parasites. They are a lethal danger to our dogs.It is the Paralysis Tick season now, so what can you do to protect your dog against ticks?
The Paralysis Tick and the Brown Dog Tick are the two most common ticks on dogs in Australia. However, it is the Paralysis Tick that is by far the most dangerous. It causes paralysis in a variety of forms but a ‘typical’ case starts with weakness of the hindquarters that progresses to total paralysis of all four legs. When the chest muscles and muscles of the throat become affected, the dog is in serious danger. If your dog is showing any signs or symptoms of paralysis you should seek veterinary treatment immediately.
Preventing tick paralysis is a safer and much kinder alternative than treating the condition once it has occurred.
It is best to speak to your local vet about ticks and prevention in your area, if you are in a tick area you should examine your dog for ticks on a daily basis. If you have taken your dog for a walk through the bush or have been camping with your dog then examining it when you get back home is also a good idea. Don’t try to look for ticks, try to feel for them instead. Ticks are a lot easier to find if you rub your finger tips through your pet’s coat rather than if you try to look for them. Your pet will enjoy the patting and rubbing too!
There is still some debate on the best way to deal with a tick once you have located it.
However, research has confirmed that it’s best to get the tick off the pet’s body as soon as possible.
You can purchase Tick Twisters (tweezers)from your veterinarian.
The next step is to take your pet to your veterinarian. This is vital, as the residue of the tick’s toxin under the skin can really cause a problem. Although the tick has been removed, the animal can still become paralysed from this residue of poison. The poison is slowly absorbed and may cause paralysis hours or even a day or two later.
Preventing Tick Paralysis
At PugLove we use and recommend Frontline Plus. Frontline Plus is effective for ticks on dogs if used every two weeks (not every month). Frontline Spray is effective for ticks on dogs and cats if used every three weeks at the rate of six millilitres per kilogram of weight. If you find a tick on your pet, you can spray Frontline directly onto the tick to kill it. Although your dog is protected from ticks if treated with with Frontline plus spot on I suggest If you live in a high tick danger area keeping a bottle of Frontline spray on hand to spray in the case you find a tick on your dog.
You can purchase Frontline treatment from your vet or leading pet stores.