Vet nurse Helina Toivanen cuddles shitzu-cross puppy Bentley, who was lucky to survive after he was struck down by a paralysis tick.
Vet nurse Helina Toivanen cuddles shitzu-cross puppy Bentley, who was lucky to survive after he was struck down by a paralysis tick. Tony Martin

Tick season set to be one of the worst

WHEN Bentley the shitzu-cross puppy didn't want to eat, his owner Judy Frank knew something wasn't right.

"When he didn't wake me first thing in the morning I knew something was really wrong," Ms Frank said.

"He made a weird noise and had no control over his legs."

Bentley, who has since recovered, had been struck down by a paralysis tick, and the first thing Ms Frank did was rush him to a vet.

Mackay is experiencing tick season and Ashley Young, of Better Pet Vets Mackay, said while last year was a quite mild tick season, this year already looked quite the opposite.

"As we have come out of winter and into spring, we have seen large numbers of cases from many areas including Habana, Glenella, the Northern Beaches, Sarina and Seaforth.

"Dogs that have been out and about, especially if they have been taken fishing, are also very high risk for tick paralysis," he said.

Mr Young said keeping pets free of paralysis ticks was quick and easy.

"Prevention measures are simple, effective and inexpensive. The best options for the lifestyle of your family and your pets should be discussed with your vet.

"Factors such as the type of coat your dog has and the frequency of swimming or bathing can affect what they will recommend," he said.

Ms Frank is urging people to take their pets to the vet as soon as they notice them acting strangely.

"We were very distressed, it was a very frightening situation to be in," she said.

"I urge anyone who notices their pet out of character to get them to a vet as soon as possible."

 

Symptoms

  •  Weakness of the hindquarters, leading to total paralysis in all four legs
  •  The appearance that the dog has something stuck in its throat
  •  Vomiting
  •  Heavy breathing


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