Vets are urging pet owners to be extra attentive to their pets’ behaviours this spring as the incidents of dogs and cats falling ill to ticks rises.
Ticks are parasites that feed off blood. They are usually found in areas where there are long grass or shrubs, where they lie and wait for a host body to climb on – the host could easily be your dog or cat.
Once on your pet, the tick will begin to feed on its blood while simultaneously regurgitating toxic saliva into your pets system.
The toxins released by the parasite can cause tick paralysis. Symptoms of it usually begin in the back legs and head forward through the body. Signs to look for include:
- Reduced coordination, weak movements and an inability to stand or walk properly
- Breathing difficulties
- Changes in their bark or meow, or an inability to bark or meow properly.
- Lack of appetite
- Coughing, gurgling, retching, vomiting
Ticks can feed for several hours or days so it is vital that you remove them as soon as possible and seek help from a veterinarian, as the symptoms can very quickly turn to respiratory failure or even death.
To ensure your pet in protected from the deadly tick, The Australian Veterinary Association recommends owners check pets daily. “This can be done by running your hands over the animal’s coat to feel for anything unusual. In cats, ticks often latch around the back of the neck where they cannot groom, so it’s important to pay attention to this area.”
This Blog was written by the furry family at Petplan Pet Insurance & Petplan Equine Australia. We love pets and people who love pets! We offer pet Insurance for Dogs, Cats, Horses & Ponies (including third party liability; horse floats, saddlery & tack). We specialise in ‘covered for life’ dog insurance, cat insurance and equine insurance. Please visit us on facebook or on our website.