With the early start to spring ticks are already coming out in force. We have had 4 tick cases at the hospital already this year. If you have stopped using your pet’s tick prevention during the cooler months now is the time to start using it again. There are many different types of tick prevention you can try and decide which one suits you and your pet. We have chews, spot on and collars, so something for everyone.
If your pet gets a tick remove it immediately. The easiest way is with a tick twister which hooks around the tick and helps you twist it off. If you don’t have a tick twister a pair of tweezers can also work well. Once removed if you can, put it in a zip lock bag so the vet can identify what type of tick it is. Call us or your nearest vet ASAP to let them know you are on your way. Your pet can take several hours to days to show signs of tick paralysis so don’t wait for your pet to show symptoms as the sooner treatment is started the better. Even if your pet is on tick prevention if you remove a tick that has attached it’s still a good idea to come for a check up.
We recommend feeling over your cat & dog everyday after they have been outside, not only is this a nice bonding time for you and your pet it could save their life if you discover a tick. Your pet will love the attention and nice massage they get at the same time too. It can also be a good idea to clip long hair dogs & cats over summer, not only to keep them cool but for easier tick searches.
Tick paralysis is caused by a potent toxin that is released through the saliva of certain species of female tick and which is injected into the blood of your pet as the tick infests the skin. The toxin directly affects the nervous system, leading to a group of nervous symptoms in the affected pet.
Do you know the signs of tick paralysis in your pet?
- Listen for a change in voice
- Are they lethargic
- Have they lost their appetite
- Coughing or gagging
- Are they wobbly or have weak legs
- Vomiting having trouble breathing
- Actual paralysis is one of the final stages and can be followed by death
If you know or think your pet has had a tick do not give them any food or water as their gag reflex will have diminished and call us immediately.
There are many different products on the market now for tick protection and it can be confusing. Below is a break down of the products and how to use them.
Seresto collars – These are tick & flea collars which offer up to 8 month prevention against fleas & 4 month tick control.
Advantix spot on – This is a spot on product so goes on your dogs skin between their shoulder blades. It needs to be repeated every TWO WEEKS to protect against ticks and every month to protect against fleas.
These products work with the product adding protection on the fur so the tick should not even get as far as being able to bite the skin. The tick will die on contact with the fur and fall off.
Nexgard – This is a monthly chew that protects against fleas & ticks.
Nexgard Spectra – This is a new product that in a monthly chew protects against fleas, ticks, heartworm & intestinal worms.
Simparica – This is a monthly chew that protects against fleas, ticks, mange & mites
Bravecto – This is a once EVERY 3 MONTH chew which protects against fleas, ticks, demodex, ear mites and sarcoptes.
Transdermal products work through the skin so the tick can bite your dog but the protection through the skin will cause the tick to die, shrivel up and fall off.
Unfortunately the only tick protection for cats is frontline spray every 3 weeks. 12 pumps per kilo are needed so it can be quite costly. We have heard there will hopefully be a new product out on the market soon – we will keep you posted!
It’s very important to NEVER use dog tick products on cats. Dog tick products are extremely toxic to cats. Even if you have a mixed household we recommend caution if using a spot on product on your dog which the cat could rub against.
We can’t stress enough that if your pet has had or you think it has got a tick, even if it’s been removed call a vet immediately as that call could save their life. This is especially important if they are not on any tick protection.
Prevention is the best protection so be prepared this summer and protect your pets against ticks! We have had tick patients in from Wyee, San Remo, Summerland Point, Blue Haven, Woongarrah, Warnervale, Chain Valley Bay & Mannering Park.