Experts warn of killer ticks

See those things on this poor dog's ear? They are ticks and they can kill an animal.
See those things on this poor dog's ear? They are ticks and they can kill an animal. Contributed

EXPERTS are warning this tick season could be the worst on record.

Warm weather and an extended wet season have created the perfect breeding ground for the blood-sucking critters and stirred up pest activity in Gladstone.

Leading Queensland animal hospital BVSC have warned pet owners due to the accommodating conditions, the peak tick season would last longer rather than concluding in November as usual.

Founder of BVSC animal hospital and leading veterinary specialist Rod Straw said this year's tick season had started early and had been widespread.

"More than two hundred pets affected by the parasite have been admitted to BVSC since the beginning of September, up more than twenty percent from the same period last year," Dr Straw said.

"Currently we have nine animals being treated in hospital with at least five to ten cases coming in everyday."

BVSC recently treated Jessie, a five-year-old golden retriever, who was admitted with two ticks.

"The retriever started to become affected by the poison as soon as it arrived at BVSC.

"Luckily Jessie's owners had taken immediate action which allowed us to treat the animal successfully," he said.

BVSC is appealing to pet owners in Gladstone to be aware of early symptoms of tick paralysis including an unsteady staggering walk, dry cough, loss of appetite, lameness, tiredness or even a change in the animal's bark or meow.

"Pet owners can ensure their pets receive early intervention by running their fingertips through their pet's coat and feeling for ticks.

"It is important to check for ticks daily and after every walk as early detection can reduce the severity of a tick bite.

"Ticks will most often be found around the head, neck and ears but no area should go unsearched," he said.


Beware of ticks:

  • Pet owners are warned early intervention is best practice
  • Run fingertips through your pet's coat and feel for ticks regularly
  • Look for symptoms of tick paralysis including an unsteady staggering walk, dry cough, loss of appetite, lameness, tiredness or even a change in the animal's bark or meow

Topics:  pets, ticks, tick season

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