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Ticks are back

Ticks are back

How to find a Paralysis tick on your pet.

Paralysis ticks can be extremely difficult to find, even animals with short coats can be a challenge. At North Coast Veterinary Services we recommend daily tick searching and regular prevention. This means it becomes a routine for you and your pets and makes it more likely you will find ticks early. A pre-season clip in July or early August will also help make searching your pet easier.

  1. Do the finger walk. Gently move your fingers over your animals skin through the fur. Gradually walking your fingers over your pet, going against the grain of the fur.
  2. Look inside lips, ears, corners of eyes, between toes and under arms and tail.
  3. Concentrate your search on the front half of the body as 78% of ticks will be found here.
  4. If you find a tick, don’t stop searching as animals can often have more than one tick on them.


Removing a Paralysis tick

If you find a tick, pull it off. Try not to squash it so it can be identified.

There are a lot of old wife tails about removing ticks. Remember you cannot make the paralysis worse by squeezing the tick, accidentally leaving the head of the tick in will not harm your pet. Do not apply any chemicals or substances to get the tick to come off, just pull it out.


What to do if you find a Paralysis tick

Paralysis tick toxin is a neurotoxin which is highly potent. Once a tick is removed most animals will continue to worsen as the toxin already in the body continues to circulate and attach to their nerves. For this reason if you find a tick it is important to contact the vet to see if your pet needs anti-toxin.

While you are waiting to get to the vet clinic you can do some important first aid:

  1. Keep your pet calm and quiet. Exercise and stress will exacerbate tick paralysis symptoms.
  2. Remove access to food and water to minimize risk of aspiration or choking.
  3. Continue to tick search your pet.

  • Posted 01 September, 2020

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