Lifestyle

Deadly tick danger all year round

DANGER ZONE: Long grass and areas of bush near the coast are noted tick havens. Photo: Tim Howard
DANGER ZONE: Long grass and areas of bush near the coast are noted tick havens. Photo: Tim Howard

THERE'S no such thing as tick season any more says a South Grafton veterinarian.

Dr James Moody, from the Riverbank Animal Hospital, said he has been telling his clients to look out for the potentially deadly creatures since the end of June.

"I realised this on June 21, the winter solstice, when two pet owner brought in dogs with ticks," Dr Moody said.

"Even in the middle of winter it was warm and moist enough to sustain ticks in this region.

"It's one of the arguments I make for climate change. It seems there is now no distinct change between seasons, at least as far as the animals go."

Dr Moody said the recent rains and the increase in temperature as spring arrives will only increase tick numbers.

To combat the menace Dr Moody recommended two pharmaceutical methods.

"My personal choice is a tick collar," he said.

"It lasts three months, which means you don't have to remember to change it so often. The other is a topical, spot-on treatment like Frontera, Advantix or Frontline Plus.

"But you have to remember to administer those every two weeks."

He said if owners were going on holidays in an area where ticks were more prevalent, they could

combine the two methods safely.

"It's an off-label procedure, but there is enough tolerance in these products that it poses little threat to the pet.," he said.

But he warned against trying to second-guess dosage rates.

"That's were we get a lot of owners bringing in pets, when they've bought a package designed for a big dog and tried to work out a dosage for two smaller animals," Dr Moody said.

He said it still meant pet owners had to check their animals for ticks.

"Ticks generally hide themselves around the head and neck of your pets, getting into their ears," Dr Moody said. "This can make them difficult to discover.

"If you think your pet has a tick or is showing symptoms, take it to your vet straight away."

Symptoms

Early signs:

 A change in voice; the meow or bark becomes softer and/or changes pitch.

 Weakness in the back legs; walking along then sitting down suddenly is a common early sign.

 Vomiting, especially if it happens several times in a day and you see froth.

Later signs:

 Wobbliness in the back legs.

 Excessive salivation and vomiting is not uncommon.

 Panting, progressing to loud breathing, even grunting noises.

 Many dogs will exhibit a moist cough and breathing problems before other signs.

Worsening signs:

 As signs of poisoning progress, the animals become unable to stand.

 Breathing becomes exaggerated and difficult.

 As breathing becomes more difficult, the gums become cold and blue-tinged. Death follows quite quickly.

Topics:  ticks, tick season, veterinarian




Spiritual Matters: Prayer's power a surprise for some

Ecumenical Prayers for Peace at St Patrick's Cathedral for victims of  MH 17 crash. Candles were lit on behalf of community leaders, each cnadle representing a different nationality.   Photo:  Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

To a modern society, it must seem like an admission of failure

Ghosts reignite finals charge against Panthers

Grafton Ghosts' captain Ben McLennan claws for meters against the Sawtell Panthers during the Grafton Ghosts and Coffs Harbour Comets Group 2 minor semi-final at Frank McGuren Field.

Ghosts dominant in 2016 home ground farewell game.

125th birthday draws crowd to Tucabia

Ex-Tucabia Public School students Betty Freeman, Marie and Jack Preston and Joyce Tarrant at the schools 125th birthday celebration on Saturday.

The old and young celebrate Tucabia's 125th birthday.

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m