Thanks to a combination of hot and wet weather, 2021 is predicted to be the worst tick season on record with warnings being issued for areas with dense bushland and along rivers.
Particular areas of concern include:
- Terry Hills
- St Ives
- Sutherland area located near the Royal National Park
At least 10,000 pets present to the hospital with potentially deadly tick bites every year, and 1 in every 10 patients will die from tick paralysis.
The good news is tick prevention is relatively easy and painless with chewable tablets costing approx. $75 for three months of protection. If you don’t remember the last time you protected your pet against ticks, now is the time to see your vet or pet store to ensure your dog is protected over the coming months.
It's also a good time to check your pet's coat by running your fingers through their fur every day (particularly around their neck and face where ticks love to hide). Be sure to also check around their eyes, inside their ears, between paws, and in their beard.
It’s a question we often hear asked, “what do I do if I find a tick?”. The answer is, if you can’t/don’t want to go to a vet, the best idea is remove it immediately with tweezers (or a tick removal tool) by:
1. Grabbing the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible
2. Pull it out slowly, in a straight motion
3. Place the tick into isopropyl alcohol and write down the date (if your dog shows symptoms down the track your vet may want to test it)
4. Wash your hands and clean your dogs wound with antiseptic
In the following days, you should also monitor for symptoms of tick-borne illness including heavy breathing, coughing, vomiting, heavy drooling, and loss of strength in their legs. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms you should see a vet as soon as possible.