Early detection will make a big difference to the severity of the injury caused to pets by ticks
A sharp increase in the number of tick cases recorded outside the traditional season has led veterinary experts to urge Tamborine Mountain pet owners to check their pets for ticks year round.
According to leading veterinary specialist and BVSC founder Dr Rod Straw, the Centre has treated more than 50 animals suffering from tick bites since the beginning of the year.
“BVSC is preparing for an extreme tick season. Since January more than 50 animals have been admitted to the Centre with tick envenomation, a 20 percent increase from the same period last year,” Dr Straw said.
“Peak tick season is traditionally from September to November, but an extended wet season has contributed to the spike in the number of pets being treated at the Centre outside of these months.
“Pet owners must be aware that animals can be struck by ticks at any time of the year,” said Dr Straw.
Ticks, commonly found in bushy, grassy areas and shrubs, can be potentially fatal for animals if left untreated.
“Tamborine Mountain pet owners in tick-prone areas are urged to be diligent and check their animals daily and after every walk.
“Ticks are relatively easy to find if you rub your fingertips through your pet’s coat, rather than trying to look for them,” he said.
According to Dr Straw it is important for pet owners to be aware of the early symptoms of tick paralysis.
“An unsteady staggering walk, dry cough, loss of appetite, lameness, tiredness or even a change in the animal’s bark or meow are early symptoms to be aware of,” he said.
Animals left untreated by a vet may suffer limb weakness, incontinence and laboured breathing before becoming completely paralysed and dying a terrible death.
“Early detection will make a big difference to the severity of the injury caused to pets by ticks.
“Pet owners should seek veterinary attention immediately to reduce the chance of the tick poisoning being lethal,” Dr Straw concluded.