The most common question we are asked at this time of year is "has tick season started yet?" Traditionally peak tick season starts in August and continues until February. However, we see tick cases popping up unexpectedly at any time so we recommend that dog and cat owners are vigilant throughout the year. Symptoms of tick poisoning ( a better word than paralysis) can be quite varied. Weakness in the hindquarters is often noticed first (the traditional tick paralysis) which can then progress to paralysis of all four legs. Paralysis of the vocal chords and throat can lead to an altered bark and difficulty swallowing. Vomiting is a common symptom.
The cases which cause us most concern are those which affect the heart and lungs. These cases can die despite the most intensive treatment. Tick poisoning is a very serious disease and early recognition of symptoms is essential.
Prevention is the key.

Our recommendations are Frontline every 2 weeks, Advantix every 2 weeks, either of these in combination with a tick collar (not for swimmers) and Proban tablets given every second day (good for swimmers). Weekly rinses in permoxin are also helpful.
With the onset of some warmer weather, we will start to see ticks so be on your guard!

 

Neil Farquhar–[email protected]

mullumvet.com

 

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