Paralysis Ticks

If you believe your pet has a paralysis tick or shows symptoms of tick poisoning you should treat this as a medical emergency.

  • Keep your pet in a cool, dark and confined place and seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.
  • Do not offer food or water.
  • Remove the tick if you can to prevent further toxin entering the body.

Paralysis ticks are among the most dangerous parasites that can affect your pet and unfortunately Sydney’s Northern Beaches has one of the country’s highest incidence rates.

Every year we have hundreds of cases of tick paralysis presenting at the clinic. We are very well equipped and skilled in providing the best and latest treatments.

Vets regularly treat affected animals with tick anti-serum. Other specialised procedures such as sedation and treatment for respiratory complications may be vital for your pet’s complete recovery. Your pet will probably require hospitalisation for several days.

It is important to search your pet for ticks every night and look out for the symptoms of paralysis during the tick season. Symptoms of poisoning may occur up to 5 days following the initial tick attachment. Watch out for:

  • Loss of coordination in the hind legs
  • Change in bark
  • Retching, coughing or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
  • Progressive paralysis to include the forelegs

Not all cases follow a simple progression and the animal can die suddenly in the very early stages of paralysis.

Products specifically intended for tick control can reduce the risk of paralysis for your pet though no one can claim to be 100% effective. New products for dogs have been introduced onto the market in the last year, talk to our informed team about the best products for your pet.

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Fact sheet – Tick paralysis

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Dr Peter Prendergast