Koko presented to our Emergency Department with severe tick paralysis after visiting the Tablelands last month. Koko received tick anti-serum but was already severely paralyzed and unable to swallow and breathe on her own. Because of this, Koko was placed on a ventilator for several days to assist her breathing. She made a full recovery and it made us all very happy to see her return home.
Important!!! Paralysis Tick Prevention.
Symptoms of Paralysis Tick Poisoning
The paralysis tick causes paralysis in a variety of forms, but typically starts with weakness of the hindquarters and staggering gait, progressing to total paralysis along with difficult, exaggerated breathing. Other early symptoms include the appearance that the dog has something stuck in its throat (gurgling), vomiting or heavy, loud breathing and not being able to bark properly.
How to Identify a Paralysis Tick
Paralysis ticks can be identified by their grey body and their legs around their head. Unlike other adult ticks, paralysis ticks have one pair of brown legs closest to their head, then two pairs of white legs and then one pair of brown legs closest to their body.
4 Methods to Prevent Tick Paralysis
Paralysis tick prevention is essential and you must take precautions if you live in a tick area or are travelling to the east coast on holidays. There are several options when it comes to paralysis tick prevention products and methods, each depends on your dog’s age, size and lifestyle.
Search your dog thoroughly every day, especially around the head, ears and under the collar where ticks commonly attach. Don’t forget to check between the toes and under the tail. Clipping your dog’s coat short, especially during the tick season, makes performing tick searches much easier. It is recommended to use a tick preventative as well as daily tick searches. If you find a tick, remove it immediately with tweezers or better still, a tick-removing device, which you can get from your vet or pet store. Try to gently lever the tick off, not to squeeze the tick’s body. If you remove a tick after your dog has started showing some signs, you should seek veterinary attention. If your dog is paralysed, you must seek veterinary attention immediately.
2. Tick Collars
Tick collars can provide protection but in tick paralysis areas, daily searching of the entire body is still recommended. Don’t forget to remove the collar before washing or swimming. (Kiltix Collar – 6 weeks protection, Seresto Collar – 4months protection)
3. Oral /Chewable Oral.
Chews are easy to administer offer up to 4 months paralysis tick prevention. Oral chews like Bravecto can also protect against flea infestations. (Nexgard Chew – 1 month protection, Bravecto Chew – 4 months protection)
4. Spot-on Products
Spot-on tick prevention products like Advantix and Frontline Plus both repels and kills paralysis ticks when applied every 14 days. The products are suitable to use with dogs that occasionally swim, but some spot-on products are toxic to cats so use with caution. (Bravecto Spot-on DOG – 6months, Bravecto Spot-on CAT – 3months, Revolution PLUS Cat – 5 weeks)