Tick paralysis in cats

It’s important for all pet owners to be aware of the many dangers their furry friends face on a daily basis—one of which is ticks. Tick paralysis in cats can be life threatening so if you’re a cat owner, it pays to clue up on the signs and how to help prevent your pussycat from getting tick paralysis.

21 Mar 2016 By Leanne Philpott Comments

Ticks may be small but they’re also pretty darn nasty thanks to the potent toxin they produce—and unfortunately they’re common too.

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What exactly is a paralysis tick?

Paralysis ticks are small, eight-legged parasites that attach themselves to animals and suck their blood. It’s the tick’s salivary glands that produce the toxin that can affect the host animal’s nervous system, causing paralysis. Serious stuff huh! Well, it doesn’t end there. Once paralysis sets in the host animal is very likely to die, unless it’s treated with anti-tick serum.

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Whata are the symptoms of tick poisoning?

The signs of tick poisoning to watch out for include:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of hunger
  • Dry retching
  • Excessive salivation
  • A change in the sound of the cat’s meow
  • Weakness or wobbling of the back legs, progressing to the front legs
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing

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How do you treat tick poisoning in cats?

If your cat has been poisoned by a tick remain cool and composed—keep your cat as calm as possible too. 

1. Remove the tick

When removing a tick it’s recommended you wear latex gloves. Use a pair of sharp tweezers and carefully grip the tick’s head and pull it out from under the skin. 

2. Take a trip to the vet

The vet will administer an anti-tick serum and if need be also give the cat fluids to prevent dehydration and perhaps oxygen, if the cat is having difficulty breathing.

3. Keep a close eye on your kitty

Even though you have removed the tick, Felix isn’t out of danger quite yet. If the tick has left any residual poison under the skin your cat can still take a turn for the worse, so it’s important to keep watch for up to four days after the tick removal.

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How can you prevent ticks?

Apart from stopping your cat from pussyfooting around in native bushland and areas with long grass, you can buy special sprays, rinses, oral liquids and tablets to help prevent ticks.

It’s also worthwhile checking your feline friend daily for ticks. To do this start at your cat’s nose and work your way back towards the tail, pulling open the fur with the tips of your index fingers. Don’t forget to check between your cat’s toes, inside and around the ears and underneath the neck and collar.

21 Mar 2016 By Leanne Philpott Comments

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