With the arrival of spring, it’s natural for you to enjoy outdoor trips more often with your furry kids in your local dog park, bushwalks, beach, and even a weekend trip away in the country! But while enjoying the outdoors, you will have to be extremely careful not letting flea and tick attack your innocent four-legged family members. Expert vets at Gordon Vet Hospital guide us here on how to save your pets from these parasites.
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Facts about Tick Prevention
Australia has got three types of ticks: Brown, Bush and Paralysis ticks and doubtlessly the most dangerous among these for dogs is the paralysis tick. You should beware of this parasite even if you have a cat as it affects cats as well as dogs. Paralysis tick is prominent from August to March on the eastern coastline of Australia.
62% of dog parents get their dogs treated for ticks every three months or even less often while 57% of dog parents get their dogs treated for fleas every three months or less often.
Gordon Vet Hospital vets warn pet parents to protect their pets from ticks or they can face any consequences including death. Without due diligence, pet parents may have to encounter tragic situations of their pet’s death or have to spend thousands of dollars on vet bills. Preventative treatment along with daily searching for ticks on your pet is extremely essential.
Vets further say that ticks live on native animals; so, if there are birds, blue tongues or possums in your area, there are probably ticks too.
It may be dangerous to think that it can’t happen to your dog just because you live in a city or suburb in a flat. A casual walk in tall grasses is enough to catch a tick and even a single tick is able to cause paralysis or even death.
The Risk Factor
Paralysis tick gets attached to the dog (or cat) and suck blood from her/him. While doing so its saliva which contains a toxin enters the blood of the dog or cat. This toxin badly affects the nervous system of the animal, resulting very quickly to serious impairment or death. The sad truth is without treatment nearly 100% of affected pets will die.
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The sooner you take your pet to the vet, the higher are the chances of her/his survival. So, first thing you should do is to look daily for tick in your pet’s fur and secondly watch keenly if your pet shows any of the following symptoms:
- Change in bark
- Depression, lethargy, reduced ability to exercise
- Lack of coordination in the hind legs (not being able to get up or wobbly walk)
- Coughing, vomitting, retching or loss of appetite
- Heavy, effortful or rapid breathing
- A thing of common sense that any pet parent can do is to avoid areas where ticks can be prominent. During the warm season, avoid taking your dog to bushy or scrub areas that are known to harbour ticks.
- Your lawns and shrubs should be short and backyards should be free from compost materials.
- You should check your dog’s fur daily for ticks. Move your fingers deep through your dog’s coat. Never leave any part of the skin. Remember about 70% of ticks occur on the front half of the pets and could be clung in areas where there are skin folds such as ears.
If you find tick on your pet, take the pet to a good vet hospital for treatment, like Gordon Vet best flea and tick treatment for dogs and cats. Early treatment can save the life of your pet.