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Tick Poisoning

Tick poisioning causes paralysis and damage to skeletal muscles, heart muscles and the muscles of the osopheagus. It can also be fatal if not treated.

Clinical Signs

- Lethargy

- Vomitting

- Change in voice (bark or meow)

- Difficulty breathing

- Paralysis in hind legs

If the animal is left untreated, the loss of control extends up the spine to effect the front legs and then the neck muscles. The swallowing ability of the animal is often affected, so that food, fluids or medicine given by the mouth usually finish up in the lungs causing pneumonia and death. Thus all treatment has to be given by intravenous injection, and the early injection of anti-tick serum favours recovery.

Treatment

If you find a tick and your animal appears unaffected you should remove the tick and keep the animal cool, quiet and confined. Do not feed and limited water can be offered. If your pet is effected you should remove the tick (pull out using finger nails is the best. Flat tweezers can squash the tick's body) and ring the vet to let us know you are on your way down.

Do not delay in recieving treatment of your pet, the sooner they get serum, the less time they have to be hospitalised.

The tick anti-serum is purified blood extract take from dogs made hyper-immune to ticks. Thus their blood contains anti-bodies to fight the poison. This is injected into the blood stream of the tick patient so the anti-bodies will immediately commence neutralising the toxins produced by the tick.

Secondary symptoms such as pneumonia, dehydration, heart failure and many others occur during course of this disease, and can lead to death, therefore nursing under veterinary supervision is of paramount importance.

Prevention

1. Daily searching of the animal after removal of the collar, feeling with the fingertips, paying particular attention to the head, neck and shoulders, and not forgetting between the toes!

2. Prevention products include Bravecto Chews & Spot-Ons, Simparica Chews and Nexgard Chews. No product is 100% effective but they do lessen the effects of the tick on the animal. Daily searching is still encouraged.

3. Preventic and Scalibor tick collars can help reduce the risks of ticks attaching, however, if the dog swims the effectiveness can be lessened.


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