The days are becoming longer and the temperature gauge is slowly rising as we move into spring, the beaches are becoming busier and outdoor activities of a weekend are a lot more enticing. The change of season brings with it the emergence of Paralysis Ticks, with our clinic already having seen a few patients with Ticks.
Paralysis ticks are a small bug like parasite (Ixodes Holocyclus) that can be deadly to your pet. Paralysis ticks have a three host life cycle which means they need to find a host and engorge each phase of its development (Larva, nymph & adult).
Once a paralysis tick has found a host, it burrows into the skin and begins to feed on the host’s blood whilst transferring toxins into the blood stream. These toxins connect directly to the muscles and nerves of the host (your pet). This is what causes the initial weakness and eventual paralysis in muscles over the body. Unfortunately because muscles are involved the paralysis affects the lungs, which is why we see respiratory distress or cyanosis (lack of oxygenated cells) in most cases.
Our most recent tick case was a beautiful 6 year old Burmese cat by the name of Toot. Toot presented to us with mild Ataxia (the loss of control and bodily movement) after his owners found a tick on his left leg. Luckily, Toot’s owners phoned us and brought him straight into the clinic where he was put on IV Fluids and given Tick Anti Serum. Because Toot’s owners diligently check him regularly for ticks and acting quickly to bring them into the clinic, Toot was back to walking steadily and was discharged the following day. Toot still has some recovery time left but essentially gets to be a hot water bottle for his owners at home for the next few weeks while receiving small frequent meals. Toot really lapped up and enjoyed all vocal and physical contact from Dr Josh and the nurses here during his 24 hour stay. He rolled around and snuggled right into his bed at just the thought of a pat or a scratch behind the ear! We wish Toot and his lovely family a comfortable few weeks relaxing together!
Our clinic stock a range of tick treatments such as Seresto Tick collars and Frontera spray for cats, as well as Bravecto and Nexgard for dogs. Speak to one of our team members who would be happy to recommend a treatment best suited to your pet.