To keep our furry companions safe and healthy, it's crucial for us as pet owners to comprehend the risks that ticks pose to dogs. In Australia, there are several species of ticks that can pose a serious threat to our pets, particularly the Paralysis Tick. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the three species of ticks in Australia. We'll also learn some preventative measures we can take to keep our dogs safe.
Paralysis Ticks (Ixodes holocyclus) are found along the East Coast of Australia. This tiny parasite secretes a toxic substance and has the potential to cause deadly paralysis symptoms. The signs and symptoms of paralysis ticks typically take three days to appear in your pet once the tick has attached itself.
Common signs of tick paralysis include a loss of coordination in the hind legs, a change in voice or bark, vomiting, retching, coughing, loss of appetite, laboured or rapid breathing, and lethargy. It is paramount to be aware of these signs and symptoms as if left untreated, the outcome will be fatal.
Brown Dog Ticks
Brown Dog Ticks (rhipicephalus sanguineus) are widely spread across Australia, particularly in warmer climates. Although they don't cause paralysis, they can cause skin irritation and heavy infestations can lead to anemia due to excessive blood loss. Additionally, they can also transmit potentially fatal infections from one dog to another.
Bush Ticks (haemaphysalis longicornis) are found along parts of the Eastern and Western coasts of Australia. Similar to Brown Dog Ticks, Bush Ticks cause skin irritation and can also transmit potentially fatal diseases when they bite.
1. Check your dog daily for ticks. Run your fingers through their coat to identify small bumps on the skin that may be ticks. Ensure you check their entire body, including ‘hidden’ places such as their underarms or ears.
2. Keep your lawn and garden trimmed and avoid tick-prone areas such as tall grass, dense vegetation or leaf litter.
3. Use tick repellant products. There are many products that can help prevent ticks from attaching to your pet such as collars, oral tablets, topical spot-on treatments and sprays.
In conclusion, the dangers of ticks for dogs are extremely important to be aware of to avoid serious illness and even, death. If you suspect your pet has a tick, seek veterinary assistance immediately.