AVA reminder to keep pets free of ticks

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ticks

With daytime temperatures warming up, the Australian Veterinary Association is encouraging pet owners to talk to their veterinarian now about ways to prevent serious harm or death from toxic ticks.

“Ticks breed mainly along the east coast of Australia in warm and humid weather so now is the time for pet owners to ensure they take preventive measures to avoid what can sometimes be a fatal outcome,” AVA president Dr Paula Parker said.

“We now have highly effective, safe, APVMA-approved tick preventatives for dogs and cats. Pet owners should speak to their local vet who can advise on the best prevention method for their situation and type of pet.”

Paralysis ticks tend to attach to the head and neck area of the pet and on the chest and the front of the leg though generally can be found on any part of the body.

Ticks release a toxin when they feed, which leads to a condition known as tick paralysis. Common signs of tick paralysis include difficulty walking, gurgling and choking. Dogs may not be able to bark properly.

“In cats, ticks often latch around the neck where they can’t groom, so it’s important to pay special attention to this area. If you think your pet has a tick the best course of action is to contact your vet,” Dr Parker said.

“Even if you find and remove a tick it’s still important that your pet is seen by a vet as your pet can be affected by the toxin for 24 hours after removal or longer. Early treatment gives the best chance of survival.”

Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.

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