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What to Do if Your Dog is Bitten by a Paralysis Tick

As pet owners, we cherish the companionship and unconditional love our pets provide us. But there are responsibilities that come with caring for our furry friends. One responsibility is protecting them from parasites like paralysis ticks. These tiny parasites can pose a severe threat to our pets, causing paralysis and even death if not addressed quickly. 

Let’s learn what paralysis ticks are, why they matter and most importantly, how to act before, during and after your dog is bitten by one. Your quick and informed response can make all the difference to your dog's wellbeing.  If you are not sure if your dog has been bitten by a paralysis tick and needs assistance, Ask our Experts at Your PetPA who can help identify the tick for you and tell you next action steps. 

What is a Paralysis Tick, and Why Does it Matter? 

A paralysis tick is scientifically known as Ixodes holocyclus, it is a small, brownish grey tick native to Australia.  These ticks attach themselves to animals, including dogs, to feed on their blood. The saliva of these ticks contains toxins that can cause paralysis in their hosts. Understanding the significance of paralysis ticks is crucial because if left untreated, they can lead to severe health complications, including respiratory failure and in some cases, even death. 

How to Act Before, During, and After a Paralysis Tick Bite 

Before a Tick Bite 

  1. The best defence against paralysis ticks is prevention. Find a tick prevention product that suits your lifestyle and if you’re confused about the options ask your veterinarian for some guidance. These preventions may include spot on treatments such as Bravecto Spot-On, tick collars like Seresto, or oral medications such as NexGard Spectra, Simparico Trio, NexGard and Bravecto Chews. Regularly checking your dog for ticks is essential for prevention as well, especially after outdoor activities in tick prone areas. 
  2. Learn to identify paralysis ticks. They are small, with a greyish-blue body and two distinct dark stripes on their back. If you find a tick on your dog, it’s crucial to confirm that it’s a paralysis tick so you can take the right cause of action if you’re dog isn’t on any prevention treatments.  

During a Tick Bite 

  1. If you find a paralysis tick on your dog, make sure you remove it carefully. Use a tick removal tool to grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible. Gently pull upward with steady pressure. Avoid squeezing or twisting the tick as this can release more toxins into your dog’s bloodstream. 
  2. Even after successful tick removal, we advise you to consult your veterinarian. They can assess your dog’s overall health and administer appropriate treatments if necessary. Symptoms of tick paralysis may not appear immediately so make sure you watch your dog for any signs.  

After a Tick Bite 

  1. Keep a close eye on your dog for any signs of tick paralysis in the days following a tick bite. These symptoms may include weakness, staggering, coughing or difficulty breathing.  
  2. Follow up with your veterinarian as recommended. They may want to perform blood tests or other diagnostic procedures to ensure your dog’s full recovery. 
  3. Continue using tick prevention products and inspecting your dog regularly for ticks, especially if you live in a tick prone area. 

Paralysis ticks are a significant threat to our canine companions, but with the right knowledge and proactive measures, you can protect your dog from their harmful effects.  

Paralysis ticks are a significant threat to our beloved canine companions, but with the right knowledge and proactive measures, you can protect your dog from their harmful effects. Remember that early intervention is key to a successful outcome if your dog is bitten by a paralysis tick. 

If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a paralysis tick or if you want more information on tick prevention and treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian. Your dog’s health and wellbeing should be top priority and your vet is your best ally in ensuring they receive the care they need. Stay informed, stay vigilant and keep your furry friend safe from paralysis ticks. 

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