Paralysis ticks are here again, and once again, the nasty little critters are doing some damage both dogs and cats here in the Parkinson, Algester and Calamvale areas.
So here’s a couple of old wives tales when it comes to what to do when your pet gets a tick:

  • Pull off the tick, squash it, and feed it to your pet – We don’t see any reason why this would work – some people think that immunity is provided to your pet when eating the tick, however, immunity takes at least 5 days to develop… After 5 days of having an untreated tick toxicity, your pet will be in serious trouble, if they live at all….
  • Pull off the tick, and feed your dog a massive amount of Vitamin C to boost immunity – There is no scientific evidence to support this – your pet can overdose on vitamin C, especially when given in large quantities over a short period of time. As for the immunity – it does not develop with the administration of one dose of vitamin C, if it did, there would be a whole lot more people taking one vitamin C tablet to cure anything from the flu, to cancer. Some anecdotal remedies for tick paralysis include vitamin C with lots of other drugs – however not all of these anecdotal cases survived, and none of them recovered immediately. Your own medicine cabinet is no replacement to a good vet.
  • Pull off the tick, and keep them in a small, confined, dark space. She’ll be right, mate – Unfortunately pet’s bodies have no way of fighting off tick toxin in the system. This means that without an antitoxin, or the transfusion of a hyper-immune pet’s plasma, the toxin will continue to circulate, unchallenged. The toxin affects the hindlimbs first, then travels fast forwards. When it reaches the chest, the muscles between the ribs fail to expand. There is also a big muscle inside the chest that is affected too – the heart. Most pets with tick paralysis will panic themselves to death, so to speak, when the tick paralysis affects their respiratory system. Keeping them calm and stress free is a very important factor, but the toxin from the tick, needs to be neutralised.
  • You don’t get Paralysis Ticks in the suburbs – Not true. Native wildlife spread and transmit paralysis ticks, without being affected themselves. Unfortunately there are too many dogs and cats that wander, and can pick up the ticks from their little adventures. As residential housing lots are now being built around scrub/bush land or have their own little lakes or reserves, these too, attract native wildlife. Also be wary of high-traffic pet areas, such as parks, beaches, dog off-lead areas and dams/lakes.
  • But my dog is an inside dog, and doesn’t go outside unless to toilet, or unless she escapes – Your own backyard can be affected, either by wandering pets that enter your property, or if your pet escapes, you never know where they’ve been. It is true, that if your dog is an inside dog, the risk is incredibly decreased, especially if you don’t walk your pet. But nothing is ever 100% foolproof, and ‘inside only’ dogs can still get tick paralysis.

Tick Paralysis is nasty, and it kills. Its not expensive to protect your pet, so don’t take the risk. There are several products that prevent tick paralysis, talk to us about finding the best one for your pet. Remember, never give a tick prevention to cats that says ‘Dogs only’. Cats are very sensitive to chemicals and a lot of dog tick preventions may seriously harm your cat.