- The paralysis tick is the single most dangerous parasite for dogs on the eastern coast of Australia with just one tick capable of causing paralysis and even death.
- After attaching and feeding, a paralysis tick starts producing a potent toxin that affect the dog's central nervous system.
- The paralysis tick causes paralysis in a variety of forms, but typically starts with weakness of the hindquarters, progressing to total paralysis of all four legs.
- Other early symptoms include the appearance that the dog has something stuck in its throat, vomiting or heavy, loud breathing.
- Dogs should be inspected daily for ticks and, if a tick is found, it needs to be removed immediately with finger nails, tweezers or a tick-removing device. Grasp the tick as close to the dog's skin as possible and pull the tick out in one firm, steady motion. Always check if there is more than just one tick. To dispose of the tick, wrap it in several tissues and flush it down the toilet.
- After removal of the tick, if you are unsure as to whether your dog is showing any symptoms of tick paralysis, you should contact your vet immediately. Early treatment is vital for their best chance of survival.
- Due to the devastating effects of paralysis tick on dogs, treatment following infestation is not always successful and prevention is definitely better than cure.
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