Every year in Australia, many dogs fall prey to the lingering bite of the paralysis tick. This type of insect lives mostly on the east coast of Australia, around Sydney, as well as up the coast and into Queensland. The tick lives on other Australian natives, including Possums and Bandicoots, and can also be found in the flora around these areas. In fact, when the paralysis tick hatches it waits on leaves and grasses for a host animal to brush against it, so that it can crawl onto the skin.
It latches onto the animal’s skin with mouthparts that look as if they are from a horror movie. Despite starting small, the tick grows in size as it feeds on the blood of the animal, and injects a nasty neurotoxin into the bloodstream in the process. The problem is that the neurotoxin from an adult tick damages the muscles of the host animal and causes paralysis.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has a Tick?
The trouble is that because ticks are relatively small, and hide under the fur, they can be difficult to detect. If you live in a paralysis tick area, during the seasons when they are most active, and your dog is suffering any or all of the following symptoms, take them to a qualified vet immediately so they can be treated with effective paralysis tick prevention for dogs by Gordon Vet:
- A weakness of the back legs indicating paralysis
- A lack of coordination and strange movements
- Any problems breathing
- Not eating or vomiting
Checking for Paralysis Ticks
If you and your dog do happen to live in a tick infested area, it is wise to have your furry friend checked for them regularly by a qualified vet. For example, the highly trained North Ryde vet staff from Gordon Vet are more than happy to do this, as are many other vets. They will even show you how to do it yourself so that you can have peace of mind.
When checking for paralysis ticks, it is important to use the tips of your fingers because they are the most sensitive parts of your hand. The ticks are small, but can be felt as lumps beneath the finger tips. If you do feel a lump, pull the fur aside and check it visually. If you decide to remove the tick yourself, please bear in mind that adult ticks can be tough to remove due to their strong mouthparts, and the fact that they burrow quite deeply into the skin. In a case like this, it is best to go to your local vet.
If you do happen to find one or more ticks, it is important to remain calm and not panic. Your dog will need you to be as stress free as possible. Simply load your furry friend into your car and take him/her to your vet. They will be happy to remove them and check for any symptoms.