Ticks are parasites that people with domestic pets will encounter on a regular basis when you stay in areas where they are predominant. These nasty little critters can live for years and are something you need to take care of as soon as possible.
Ticks pose a health risk for both humans and animals, as they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky mounted spotted fever and tick paralysis that can be life-threatening if not taken care of.
If you have an inkling that your pet might have contracted tick paralysis, it is vital to seek the aid of veterinary services immediately.
How to Prevent Tick Paralysis?
- Check your pets daily for any signs of ticks, especially during the warmer months. (Be sure to check underneath the collar as well).
- Ask your veterinarian about possible sprays or tablets that you can administer to prevent poisoning or attachment.
The best way is to avoid areas with ticks, but unfortunately, that is not always possible. Therefore, it is advisable that pet owners familiarise them with the signs and symptoms and be vigilant in acting when your pet appears to have any of these symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms Associated With Tick Paralysis?
- Ticks attach to cats, dogs or humans by secreting a paralyzing toxin when they feed. If you do not seek medical treatment, it could lead to respiratory or heart failure. Tick paralysis is caused by the female tick injecting a poison with saliva into the blood of the animal.
Symptoms Associated With Tick Paralysis:
- Severe salivation
- Heavy breathing or grunting
- Wobbly legs (particularly the back legs)
What Must You Do When You Suspect Your Animal Is Affected?
- If you suspect your pet has tick paralysis, try to stay calm and immediately seek assistance from a Vet, as they specialize in the treatment of ticks in animals.
- Remove all visible ticks with a hook or tweezer.
- Keep your pet as cool, calm and quiet as possible.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Do not offer your pet anything to drink or to eat. The toxins may cause the food or water running straight to their lungs, as the toxins prevent your pet from protecting their airways when they swallow.
- If you have removed a tick, place it in a sealed container and present them to the veterinarian for analysis.
Interesting Facts About Ticks
- All animals will react differently to the toxin. Young, old or weak pets are more susceptible to the disease.
- Ticks are not insects, but arachnids. They are closely related to spiders than scorpions or mosquitos.
- When a tick bites you, it will not fall off immediately. They are likely to feed for up to 2-3 days, and if it is a female, it can swell up to nearly double her standard size.
- Ticks have a life cycle with four stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult.
- Tick infestations are more commonly found in dogs than cats.
- Ticks acquire disease agents when feeding and are not born with them.
- Ticks can transmit multiple diseases to a host.
- Ticks can live up to three years, depending on the species.