Vet nurse Alex Vinicombe checks Joolz over for ticks, as they have been prevalent on the Fraser Coast recently.
Vet nurse Alex Vinicombe checks Joolz over for ticks, as they have been prevalent on the Fraser Coast recently. ALISTAIR BRIGHTMAN

Coast thick with ticks from rain

NOT BEING able to run around outside is not the only disadvantage pets face when wet weather sets in on the Fraser Coast.

The Australian Veterinary Association has warned of a local killer tick season following constant rainfall throughout the district.

Head vet at Hervey Bay Veterinary Surgery Ron McKay has been working around the clock to keep up with the number of distraught families whose furry friends have been affected by paralysis tick.

The potentially deadly parasite has found perfect breeding grounds in bushland around the Fraser Coast.

Dr McKay (pictured) said areas surrounded by rainforest like Craignish and Dundowran were thick with ticks.

While paralysis tick can be treated, Dr McKay said early detection was the key to ensuring the best results.

“Early treatment is very successful,” Dr McKay said.

“If you find a tick, and the animal is not affected, you can remove the tick yourself.

“But if it is affected you need to get it to a vet straight away.”

In its earlier stages paralysis tick will manifest itself through vomiting and decreased mobility.

Dr McKay said the poisoning process was “fairly quick” and if untreated progressed to ascending paralysis, respiratory problems and eventually death.

When choosing where to exercise their pets Dr McKay said owners should avoid native rainforests, bushes and long grass.

“Tick larvae crawl up blades of grass and drop on to the animal's coat when they brush past it,” he said.

“By steering clear of these areas and keeping grasses and bushes in the backyard to a minimum owners better their chances of avoiding paralysis tick.”

PARALYSIS TICK SYMPTOMS

What to look out for:

Pets becoming unsteady on their feet

Change in vocals

Vomiting

Excess saliva

Laboured breathing



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