While this disease has been recorded in Western Australia and the Northern Territory at the moment, It is important to be vigilant if traveling with your dog in these northern areas. It is highly recommended that dog owners treat dogs for ticks regularly as a preventative measure. If traveling in these parts of Australia, check the DPI's page, Dog Movement Conditions to Reduce the Spread of Ehrlichiosis
At the time of writing, there have been no cases reported outside of these areas. In NSW, there were 3 reports of dogs that tested positive when re-entering the state from the Northern Territory. These dogs were treated by their veterinarian.
Paralysis ticks (Ixodes Holocyclus) are dangerous parasites that attach to our dogs & cats causing paralysis and even death. These ticks are carried by native animals like bandicoots and breed predominantly along the east coast in warm and humid weather. Recent evidence has shown an increase of the tick locally in the Highlands which has traditionally not been a common area.
It is the female paralysis tick that causes paralysis tick toxicity. Once attached it begins to feed by burrowing its mouthparts into the animal’s skin and sucking blood – it then starts producing a potent toxin that affects the animal’s central nervous system and causes progressive paralysis and possibly death.
While there is an anti-serum available to treat tick paralysis, treatment is expensive and very much dependent on early identification of symptoms by the owner and immediate veterinary attention.
Symptoms that your pet may display if they are suffering from tick paralysis include:
- Weakness or paralysis in the back legs, progressing to the front legs
- Wobbling and lack of coordination
- Coughing or gagging
- Change in tone of the bark
- A grunt on breathing
- Trouble swallowing
- Regurgitating or vomiting
- Inability to stand
- Facial paralysis
Simparica Trio is a monthly chew that provides protection for Intestinal worms, fleas and paralysis and, brown ticks as well as heartworm.