August is National Tick Awareness Month for Pets

paralysis ticks in dogs
Photo: makrobetz 123RF

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health has chosen the month of August to launch an Australian first—National Tick Awareness Month for Pets. Timed to coincide with the beginning of the highest risk period for paralysis ticks (spring and early summer), National Tick Awareness Month for Pets will shine a spotlight on the dangers of paralysis ticks and call on dog owners to be compliant with tick control. 

According to Andrew Palmer, head of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Australia, National Tick Awareness Month for Pets is an opportunity to an initiate a conversation with pet owners on the importance of tick control, including among those who like to travel with their dogs.

“Cases of tick paralysis can occur at any time of year. What concerns us is just over half of dog owners living in a paralysis tick area are staying on top of tick control,” Palmer said.

“The aim is that National Tick Awareness Month for Pets will better educate pet owners, including those who live outside paralysis tick zones, on the dangers of paralysis ticks—after all, ticks do not discriminate, and dogs who travel with their owners to paralysis tick zones, are at risk too.”

In 2016, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health supported the formation of the Australian Paralysis Tick Advisory Panel. The panel seeks to close the gap in understanding of the dangers of paralysis ticks, by conducting and reviewing scientific research and developing guidelines on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tick paralysis in pets.

“From reviewing information on the distribution and seasonality of ticks, the panel has reached a consensus: protecting pets from ticks only during the higher-risk warmer months is not enough,” panel member Dr Ellie Leister said.

“The panel recommends the year-round use of isoxazoline tick control products for all dogs and cats that are living in, or travelling to, known paralysis tick regions.”

The Australian Paralysis Tick Advisory Panel have produced updated guidelines for veterinary clinics, which include advice on the management of the complicated patient, an approach to ongoing monitoring of tick paralysis cases and a diagnostic approach to suspected tick paralysis cases. New to the guidelines is a section on critical care, incorporating best practice fluid therapy, oxygen supplementation and sedation protocols. 


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