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22 December 2020

Going on a trip with your furry family? Is there going to be a risk of your pet getting ticks? Don’t forget to keep your tick prevention treatment up to date and to check your pet for ticks, or you could have an unfortunate pet, like Boo Boo!

In Australia, your pet can pick up brown ticks and paralysis ticks while they’re frolicking in bushland or long grass; these pests are tricky to remove and if they manage to get the latter sucker (paralysis tick) on them, it could spell lots of trouble! True to its name, the toxins released in their saliva while they latch and feed on your pet, can start paralysing all their muscles and nerves. These affect not only those muscles involved with their movement but also those enabling them to swallow and/or breathe, and, if left for too long, it could be fatal!

Boo Boo’s family managed to remove a tick they found on him, but the effects of the toxin were already showing; he was a bit wobbly on his feet and had intermittent regurgitation. The poor boy was rushed to the emergency centre where immediate treatment was started before the toxin could do further damage and debilitate Boo Boo’s respiratory system any further. His treatment included aggressive fluid therapy and, due to his inability to swallow properly, he was constantly checked on (physical examinations and blood tests) to make sure he was he didn’t develop pneumonia from aspirating fluid or food. After a few days in hospital and more than $3,000 in veterinary bills later, Boo Boo recovered well and was back to his normal happy and bouncy self!

So how do we prevent our pets from getting ticks? For one, keep up to date with tick prevention – there are a few products on the market now that can help prevent the ticks leeching dinner off your pet. Contact your local vet to see what products they recommend! As an added measure, even if you diligently follow a tick prevention regime, check your pet’s coat thoroughly after every outing where they’ve visited areas that expose them to those nasty ticks (i.e. bushland, long grass). You can also trim your pet’s coat shorter so you can find those suckers quicker and easier!