Over the warmer months we see an increase in the number of pets coming in with tick paralysis. Ticks are small insects that feed on animals and there are alot of paralysis ticks (Ixodes holocyclus) in our area which cause a progressive paralysis which will eventually kill the animals. In order to prevent your pet getting harmed by ticks here's what you need to know:
- Check your pet daily for ticks- run your fingers through their coat feeling for little bumps on the skin. You will feel a tick much easier than you can see a tick so it's important to use your fingers and then when you feel a bump look with your eyes.
- If you find a tick just use some scissors to chop it in half. The tick will die and then can't produce any more toxin. Eventually the remaining part will drop off.
- Use a tick preventative product- For dogs we recommend Frontline Plus every 2 weeks. For cats the only thing that works is Frontline Spray every 3 weeks. Don't completely rely on this though, still check your pets daily.
Know the clinical signs-
- wobbly legs
- difficulty breathing
- change in voice
- choking in cats
- If your pet shows any clinical signs contact us immediately. The earlier we start treatment the more success we have. Dogs and cats with advanced tick paralysis are sometimes beyond help so don't delay.
Ticks are nasty little critters. Follow the tips I have given here and we can keep your pet safe this summer.