Tick paralysis is a serious and potentially fatal condition for our pets. However, it can be preventable through being proactive by protecting our furry friends from the outset. These economical methods will assist in keeping your pet free from ticks. Without them, you may find your sick pet in hospital along with some expected vet bills.
There are many affordable preventative treatments available that you can use at home. How regularly the treatment needs to be applied varies from fortnightly, to monthly, to even only a few times a year. Preventative treatments you may come across include:
- Spot-on treatments
- Chewable tablets
- Tick collars
- Baths and rinses
There are many preventative treatments, however the new class drug called isoxazoline is by far the most effective at tick prevention.
It is important to talk to your vet about the best treatment for your pet. Care also needs to be taken when giving tick treatments to cats, as some treatments designed for dogs can be fatal to cats.
While these methods aid in tick prevention, these methods are still not 100%. It is still important to regularly conduct tick searches of your pet as well as regular vet health checks.
Treatment in Hospital
Treatment from tick paralysis can vary depending on the case. As an emergency and critical care hospital we have specialised equipment and facilities, we are a leading hospital in the treatment of ticks and are involved in tick paralysis research studies, and our vets have undergone extensive emergency and critical care training in order to provide the best care and treatment possible.
Should your pet need to be admitted to hospital due to tick paralysis, treatment can be costly. As well as administering anti-serum, costs are also dependant on the speed of recovery or if complications develop. There are a number of aspects to the treatment beside from the anti-serum that can impact costs. These include:
- A sedative to reduce the anxiety of being paralysed may be administered to help calm your pet
- An anti-serum, designed to neutralise the toxin, will be administered
- Size of the patient may affect the volume of anti-serum required
- Degree of severity of poisoning affects the volume of anti-serum required
- Age of the patient and any pre-existing medical conditions can affect the rate of recovery and contribute to costs
- Intravenous fluids are needed to maintain hydration as effected pets are unable to eat and drink safely
- Hospitalisation. Your pet is likely to be admitted to hospital, and depending of the severity of the case some pets require longer hospital stays, anywhere from a few days and in some cases weeks.
- Tick paralysis treatment requires a team of vets and vet nurses. For example, constant supervision especially during the administering of the anti-serum, monitoring of vital signs and administering of other medications throughout the hospitalisation. In some cases paralysis where pets are unable to blink their eyes will need to be lubricated regularly, or if they are unable to urinate on their own they will need assistance with bladder expression.
- In severe cases where a pet’s breathing is effected oxygen support may be required, and for the sickest of patients mechanical ventilation (life support) is the only option until the effects of the paralysis wear off
- Aspiration pneumonia is a common complication of tick paralysis, and will require more intensive treatment, such as longer hospitalisation and antibiotics
For more information on tick paralysis, visit our Tick Paralysis Guide.