Dr. Katrina’s Tips for Keeping Paralysis Ticks at Bay

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Paralysis tick season usually stretches from spring to autumn, with most cases occurring in spring and summer. However, they can occur at any time of the year and that means staying vigilant to protect your pet from these creatures is a must.

Houndztooth’s brand Ambassador and rich source of veterinary knowledge, Dr. Katrina Warren, shares her tips and insights on how best to stay safe when it comes to your pets and ticks.

What exactly is a paralysis tick?

Ticks are unique to Australia’s east coast and are unfortunately the single most dangerous parasite for dogs and cats. In a worst case scenario, a single tick could cause paralysis and even death.

Paralysis from these ticks comes in a variety of forms, but commonly starts with weakness of the rear legs and a wobbly walk. If left untreated, this can progress to total paralysis of all four legs and eventually death due to paralysis of the muscles that allow breathing. 

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Look-out for these early symptoms:

  • Heavy breathing 
  • Gurgling 
  • Vomiting
  • A change in your dog’s bark or cat’s meow

How to manage and reduce tick impact:

It’s hard to completely eliminate your pet’s chance of coming into contact with a tick, however here are some tips to minimise this and reduce the danger as much as possible:

  1. Daily inspection: pets should be inspected daily for ticks – they can be hard to spot so take your time and run your hand across fur and lift it back to see if you feel bumps or see visible changes. Pay special attention to the head (around ears and under collars), where ticks often hide.

To make searching for ticks easier, you can dampen your pets coat and apply a pet pH balanced conditioning spray and deodoriser. The Houndztooth range of Australian made conditioning sprays and deodorisers are leave-in, so no rinsing required.

  1. How to identify a paralysis tick: they have a grey body, one pair of brown legs closest to their head and two pairs of white legs and one pair of brown legs closest to their body.
  2. Immediate removal: if you do happen to find a tick, please remove it immediately. Ideally, use a specific tick removal tool for the best chance to remove the entire tick and reduce risk of infection (you can find them at your vet or pet store). If you don’t have this on hand, use tweezers with narrow pointy tips.
  3. Vet visit: if your pet has started showing some symptoms of being affected (even after you’ve removed the tick), still seek veterinary attention and go immediately if your pet is showing signs of paralysis. 

Tick prevention! 

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If you live in a tick area, Dr. Katrina recommends using a tick specific preventative product in conjunction with daily tick searches.

Although they don’t repel ticks, Houndztooth’s naturally-derived Conditioning Spray & Deodorisers make conducting tick searches easier (particularly for long and double coats) and allow you to cleanse and nourish your pet’s skin at the same time. 

Best of all? They can be used on all types of coats (short, double, wire, broken, long and hairless), are suitable for sensitive skin and can be used on puppies, right through to elderly dogs.

Each blend is specifically pH balanced for your dog’s skin and carefully crafted with the highest quality naturally-derived ingredients (and are silicone free).

Hugo’s Blend No. 1 is blended with refreshing Australian lemon myrtle and peppermint essential oils to help fight odour for a clean, fresh smelling coat long after grooming. Formulated with a deeply replenishing goat milk blend that  is enriched with Australia banksia extract and virgin coconut oil. Learn more about this product here.

Stella’s Blend No. 2 contains nourishing oatmeal and Manuka honey (which also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties – perfect for red, congested, inflamed or eczema prone pet skin and more). This low-irritant formula also contains replenishing Australian almond oil, paperbark, rosemary and lavender oils to protect your pup’s skin and coat whilst delivering a divine long-lasting scent. Try it on your four-legged friend and see and smell the difference! Available here.

Charlie’s Blend No. 3 has a goat milk base, and the lactic acid in this acts a natural exfoliant to keep dog skin soft and supple, whilst gently resurfacing skin cells and deeply hydrating skin. It is blended with a mix of essential oils, including fir needle and green tea essential oil – packed full of antioxidants to prevent harmful substance forming on your pup’s skin. This all-natural botanical scent is fresh and revitalising.

You can find it here.

We hope you and your pet’s have a safe, tick free year with fresh, healthy coats!

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