In the past week, RSPCA Queensland has seen a spike in animals requiring treatment for tick paralysis. Two cats are in intensive care with a puppy now in recovery.
The charity is warning pet owners of the dangers ticks pose to pets.
RSPCA Queensland Chief Veterinarian Dr Anne Chester says, “The warmer temperatures coupled with wet weather has seen ticks out in force and latching onto pets.
“Owners should check their pets every day for ticks and ensure they’re using tick preventatives like tick collars, spot on treatments or monthly chews.”
Two cats and one puppy are recovering at the Brisbane RSPCA from tick paralysis and three cats have come into Dakabin RSPCA with paralysis ticks. Sadly, a family’s dog didn’t make it on route to the RSPCA in Cairns and passed away from tick paralysis.
Dr Chester says, “Act fast. If you find a tick on your pet remove it with tweezers and get them to your vet for treatment, don’t delay, especially if your pet is displaying any of the following symptoms.”
Signs your pet may have a paralysis tick:
- Hind leg paralysis
- Vomiting or gagging
- Unsteady, staggering walk
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry cough or change in bark or meow
- Disinterest in food
Note: Some cats and dogs do not show the typical hind limb paralysis at first. Initially they may only exhibit a gurgling, choking cough, however their condition will quickly deteriorate.