Monday, September 27, 2010

Ticks and the loss of a Pet

Living in Queensland has its draw backs, Paralaysis Ticks are one of them. There are only a couple of treatments that have any affect and they only last a couple of weeks. We got caught off guard this Tick season, just didn't see it coming and we lost one of our faithful pets to these nasty critters.
Paralaysis ticks work fast at paralising their host and with a small animal like a cat they can kill them within a couple of days. Molly already had a previous spinal injury from being hit by a car a few years ago, she managed to walk slowly and seemed content in life, she had no use of her tail but it didn't seem to bother her much.
For a couple of my kids it was the first loss of a pet, I mean we have lost several of our chickens but they don't view them the same way as they did Molly, she was just always here, sleeping most her life away on a chair, or in the sunny spot in my Husbands Study. Sadly that is were I found her struggling to breath and fight for life.
Sadly our vet advised that she wouldn't survive the Tick treatment, its almost as hard on the body as the tick venom, so we consented sadly to have her put to sleep, she will be sadly missed

SO here are some facts about Ticks.

By Dr Cam Day (vet)
Ticks are nasty, sneaky venomous little parasites. They are a lethal danger to your dogs and cats too. It is the Paralysis Tick season now, so what can you do to protect your dog against ticks?

The Paralysis Tick and the Brown Dog Tick are the two most common ticks on dogs in Australia. However, it is the Paralysis Tick that is by far the most dangerous. It causes paralysis in a variety of forms but a 'typical' case starts with weakness of the hindquarters that progresses to total paralysis of all four legs.

When the chest muscles and muscles of the throat become affected, the dog or cat is in serious trouble. When a Paralysis Tick affects a pet, the pet often dies. Preventing tick paralysis is a much safer and cheaper alternative than treating the condition once it has occurred. If you live in a tick-infested area, you should examine your dog or cat for ticks on a daily basis. If you have taken your pet for a walk through the bush or have been camping with your dog then examining it when you get back home is also a good idea. Don't try to look for ticks, try to feel for them instead.

Ticks are a lot easier to find if you rub your finger tips through your pet's coat rather than if you try to look for them. Your pet will enjoy the patting and rubbing too! There is still some debate on the best way to deal with a tick once you have located it. However, most veterinarians feel that you should not remove it. Instead, kill it while it is on your pet. Removing a tick while it is alive usually causes the angry tick to inject more toxin into your pet's body.

Kill the little sucker with a fast acting insecticide applied directly to the tick. If you do not have a specific pet insecticide, then a quick knockdown household aerosol insecticide will do the job well. Hold the nozzle close to the tick and drench it. (Don't spray the whole animal though). The tick will then die and shrivel up. The next step is to take your pet to your veterinarian. This is vital, as the residue of the tick's toxin under the skin can really cause a problem. Although the tick has been killed or removed, the animal can still become paralysed from this residue of poison. The poison is slowly absorbed and may cause paralysis hours or even a day or two later.

Preventing Tick Paralysis

Tick infestations can be prevented although tick control is easier on dogs than on cats. Also, manufacturers are releasing new products onto the market regularly to make the job easier and more reliable.

There are several ways to minimise tick infestations. Firstly, there are specific tick collars that are available. Virbac makes one under the name of the Preventic 2 Month Tick Collar and Bayer makes another called the Kiltix Tick and Flea Collar for Dogs. Permoxin Insecticidal Spray and Rinse is also effective for ticks on dogs. It should be applied as a rinse every seven days. Permoxin also kills and repels fleas and mosquitoes.

You should not use any of the above products on cats. For cats and dogs, Frontline is a good choice. Frontline Plus is effective for ticks on dogs if used every two weeks (not every month). Frontline Spray is effective for ticks on dogs and cats if used every three weeks at the rate of six millilitres per kilogram of weight. If you find a tick on your pet, you can spray Frontline directly onto the tick to kill it. The Bayer product Advantix is also an excellent choice and like Frontline, it is a 'spot on the neck' product. It also controls fleas but one advantage of this product is that it also repels ticks, fleas and even mosquitoes and sand flies.

Proban is an oral insecticide that is quite effective against ticks on dogs but needs to be used every two days rather than at the flea-controlling dose of twice weekly. Some veterinarians also recommend Proban for ticks on cats at 1/4 of a tablet every two days. A liquid version is also available. Because Proban is an oral medication that is excreted via the pet's skin, it gives tick control over the whole of the pet's body.

When using sprays or rinses, it is possible to miss some areas, thereby allowing ticks to attach. This does not happen with Proban. Fido's Fre-Itch Rinse is also effective for ticks and fleas if the dog or cat is rinsed in it every three days. Fido's is useful when your pet has been in a tick area and you want to bathe it to kill any hitchhiking ticks.

In tick prone areas, it is essential that your pets are searched daily for ticks. If this is done routinely, you can then eliminate tick paralysis because the tick usually has to be on the animal's body for more than two days to cause paralysis. Don't take chances with ticks. They are the most dangerous of parasites that can infest your pet and they kill.

See your veterinarian and ask his or her advice on a safe tick control program for your pet.

Important - Read This: This information is intended to provide general information only which may not be applicable to your particular circumstances. You agree to access this information at your own risk and that First Point Media is not liable to you for the content of the information or any reliance by you on this information

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