I have two cute pets -a King Charles Cavalier Spanial and a black cat. Both are valued members of our family. The cat is an indoor cat, taken out on a few occasions on a lead to enjoy the sunshine in the backyard. The dog is predominantly an indoor dog too. He does however go out into the big world on a lead for daily walks and plays in the backyard when we are with him. Both are fully immunised and have regular vet checks.
I had heard this season was to be a bad tick season. I’d read it in local papers and Sydney papers. I took things seriously and we all brush our pets frequently anyway but we were being a bit more cautious. To be honest though as our yard doesn’t have any big trees and nor does our area ( cleared rightly or wrongly for residential estates) and our pets are outside for limited supervised time I wasn’t too worried. I was going by the adage ‘ Be alert but not alarmed’ . I also ( through being a first time dog owner and not fully conversant with everything , thought the flea and worm tablet we gave him monthly did everything).
Then just last week as we were patting our dog my son noticed a lump under the dog’s chin. It was a greyish looking thing and we both froze aware of what this thing was!!! In a typical comedy of errors in my house in the backyard the pool an was fixing our pool fence. My son was about to drive the dog to the vet – there was me thinking it was good he was home ( it was his day off from work) -but in the typical comedy of errors in my home my son said he’d just finished a beer. Technically he wouldn’t have been over the limit or driving but knowing our luck the random breath testing unit would be on the main road, he’d get tested and blow over the limit ( as I believe to be the case if you’ve just finished drinking) and then have to wait 10 minutes to reveal the true under the limit meanwhile time would tick ( no pun intended) on for my dog waiting to go to the vet.
Instead I tossed the cash to my son to pay the pool man busy in the backyard, strapped the poor dog who was displaying no signs of unhappiness into the car and sped ( a speed limit of course) to the vet in my typical panic state.
On arrival the vet nurse removed the tick and did a quick check for more ( apparently that’s not uncommon) . My dog was then given antiserum and had a night stay at the vet. We were lucky our dog only had an overnight stay. A friends dog spent almost two weeks in vet hospital with oxygen . They were actually roomies for one night.
Both my dog and my friend’s dog are home and happy but this could have ended differently. Both our dogs are now wearing a Scalibor (brand name) collar in the hope of a little extra protection. There are many sprays and collars to choose. This doesn’t replace twice daily checks of my dog but it does give a little bit of reduction of anxiety for me. I’m still paranoid of taking him outside even just to toilet.
If you have a pet take time to familiarise yourself with the paralysis tick. You can ask your vet too about the best way to check your pet ( and its probably on YouTube) . If you aren’t comfortable removing ticks take the pet straight to the vet.
These are just my opinions of course.