Fatal tick ‘plague’ hits Eurobodalla pets

TICKING TIME BOMB: Eurobodalla vets and animal welfare groups are warning pet owners to be vigilant this deadly tick season.
TICKING TIME BOMB: Eurobodalla vets and animal welfare groups are warning pet owners to be vigilant this deadly tick season.

Pet owners are warned to watch out for blood-sucking ticks before it’s too late, as one of the worst seasons in recent years hits the shire.

Eurobodalla RSPCA has reported an “extraordinarily large number” of fatalities and incidents in the tick-prone region in recent weeks, and is urging dog and cat owners do regular tick checks on their pets.

A branch spokeswoman spoke of a distressing experience at Moruya’s North Head camping ground last month, which led to the deaths of three dogs. 

The spokeswoman said she removed more than 100 ticks from nine dogs, some of which had been treated with tick prevention medication.

“People need to be aware this is the worst tick season we have seen in the Eurobodalla,” she said.

“I can’t stress enough how lethal they can be.

“(This tick season) is escalating beyond my comprehension.”

The RSPCA said Eurobodalla vets were bracing for the worst tick season in recent years, exacerbated by the warmer weather.

The RSPCA spokeswoman said it was important pet owners were vigilant during the summer months.

“With paralysis ticks, when people remove them from the animal, they need to kill the tick, not put it back on the ground,” she said.

“Owners need to thoroughly check their pets – their ears, bottoms, genitals – everywhere.

“It’s not the ticks you get off that do the damage, it’s the ones you miss.”

She said the situation was made worse by ineffective tick treatments.

“Unfortunately, some tick treatments aren’t working as ticks are becoming resistant,” she said.

“Even with the treatment, you need to be vigilant for check ticks; there is no guarantee.”

Top Tick Tips:

  • Conduct thorough tick checks morning, afternoon and night.
  • Talk to your vet about effective tick preventatives.
  • Consider buying a tick remover tool.
  • At the first sign of tick paralysis, remove the tick as soon as possible and take your pet to the vet.
  • Be aware of tick paralysis symptoms - tiredness, staggering, vomiting, breathing difficulty, progressing to paralysis.
  • Avoid tick habitats, such as bush and scrub areas, and keep lawns short.