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WORST EVER TICK SEASON GRIPS THE SOUTH-EAST

Tick season is in full force with this summer predicted to be the worst season on record.

AWLQ’s Gold Coast Community Vet Clinic is admitting an average of five tick paralysis cases a day, with each pet patient needing critical care.

Local Tradesman Troy Stevens currently has two dogs in intensive care at the clinic. “Our puppy Lou Lou was the first to get sick, then her dad Big Red a couple days later,” said Mr Stevens.

“We only just moved to the Gold Coast and didn’t know that ticks were a problem here.”

Six week-old red cattle dog Lou Lou was admitted on Monday with late stage symptoms of tick paralysis and AWLQ Vets thought it unlikely she would survive the night. The pup managed to pull through but remains in a critical condition at the clinic.

Just when Mr Stevens thought his puppy was on the road to recovery, the pup’s father Big Red was admitted on Wednesday also showing signs of tick paralysis.

Mr Stevens is now facing the grim financial consequences that result from not protecting your pets against the tiny parasite.

“The cost for tick paralysis treatment at our Community Vet Clinic starts at $1500 and increases according to the severity of the case and the size and weight of the animal,” says AWLQ Practice Manager Jane Jones.

“That cost can run into the thousands at a private clinic or if your animal needs around the clock emergency care,” she adds.

The paralysis tick does not discriminate when it comes to our beloved pets. One tick can bring down a four kilo cat or a 50 kilo dog, injecting its victim with lethal venom that can lead to a pet’s death in a matter of hours.

“Recognising the early signs of tick paralysis makes a huge difference in whether your pet lives or dies,” says Mrs Jones.

Early symptoms of tick paralysis include a dry cough, loss of appetite, tiredness or a change in the animal’s bark or meow. Late stage symptoms include limb weakness, incontinence, laboured breathing and ultimately death.