Paralysis ticks are a threat to pets on the Coast.
Paralysis ticks are a threat to pets on the Coast. Contributed

Vets warn of paralysis ticks

THE paralysis tick season has started again and South East Queensland veterinarians report this year could be the worst on record following the emergence of large numbers of affected pets.

Tweed veterinarian Andrew Warman from Greenway Drive Veterinarian Clinic warned the Tweed was an area where the ticks were prevalent and local pet owners should check their animals regularly to ensure they weren't affected.

"We've started to see a number of cases coming through the surgery," Mr Warman said.

The right combination of temperature and humidity were the likely reason for the increase in tick numbers.

Mr Warman said once people spotted the ticks, the main thing was to remove the insects to make sure they could no longer poison their animals.

The ticks were commonly found in bush land areas and could also be found in dunes.

Wherever native animals such as bandicoots, wallabies and lizards were found, the ticks were present too, Mr Warman said.

The story that ticks should be removed in their entirety or they could continue to poison pets was just that, a story.

Once a large part of the tick was removed it could no longer harm a pet and although removing the entire bug was best, people should always try to remove the pest.

Pet owners should try to keep the tick once removed to aid identification by a vet as there were many ticks and not all were as dangerous as the paralysis tick.

Owners should visit a vet as soon as possible once symptoms presented themselves even if they couldn't actually find any ticks.

Symptoms included vomiting, change in bark, softer meow, changed breathing, reduced movement and wobbliness.

Owners could use preventative measures such as tick collars but should still check their animals regularly.

Ticks were mostly found on pets from the animals' shoulders forward but could go anywhere on a pet's body.

Mr Warman said "don't ignore any symptoms and even if you've removed the tick, keep a good eye on your pet for the next three or four days".



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