It’s tick season – are you ready?
Spring is a lovely time of year on the Northern Rivers of NSW with the days start to getting longer and the sun getting warmer. Unfortunately it also announces the start of tick season.
Our friends at Mullum Vet have helped us answer a few questions and some helpful hints on how to look after our furry loved ones throughout tick season.
1. How long does it last for?
Tick season usually lasts about 6 months from late winter through to late summer. Keep in mind paralysis ticks occur year-round however with sporadic cases occurring through the low season.
2. What animals get affected.?
Dogs, cats, pocket pets, and young livestock get affected. Large burdens might affect adult livestock. It is rare for wildlife to be affected but it can happen in bad years.
3. What are common symptoms?
The most common clinical signs of tick paralysis are wobbliness, weakness or paralysis in the legs, often starting with the hind legs and proceeding forward, along with laboured breathing, retching or vomiting, and reduced ability to blink. Sometimes only some of these signs occur, and the signs can be subtle initially but then rapidly progress over subsequent hours.
4. What do I do if I find a tick on my pet or livestock?
Remove it as soon as possible. Tick twister devices are recommended however using tweezers or your fingers is acceptable. Grasp the tick at its base close to the skin and remove with a gentle twisting motion. Keep it in a container in case the vet needs to examine it. If the animal is showing any of the signs mentioned above, then it needs veterinary attention immediately for antitoxin and other veterinary supportive care.
5. Can tick paralysis be treated?
Yes, and the majority of treated animals survive but treatment needs to be initiated quickly to be effective. Unfortunately, even with the best treatment, it is sometimes fatal.
6. What is the best way to protect my animals?
Dogs are best protected using the new generation chewable products (Nexgard, Bravecto, Simparica or Credelio), with Frontline Plus an option for very young puppies. Cats are best protected using the new topical spot-on products (Bravecto or RevolutionPlus), or by keeping them indoors. Goats can be given a tick collar however this is off-label use. There are topical rinses for use in horses and cattle.
The Team at Mullum Co-Op is here to help with friendly advice however if you’re four legged friends are showing any symptoms above, please see your local Vet for help, assistance and the best possible medical advice.
Phone: (02) 6684 3818