It’s that time of the year that dog and cat owners need to think about reinstituting tick control. Anyone who has ever had a pet suffer from tick paralysis will agree that prevention is better than cure. Unfortunately, there are no products available that can provide 100% protection against ticks. This is because ticks complete their life cycle on three hosts, which include possums and bandicoots, as well as our pets. Possums and bandicoots can become immune to the poison, but dogs and cats are less able to do so.
 
There are many products available that kill and repel ticks, and some can be used in combination. Anecdotally we have found that some of the flea control products can have some effect against ticks, if used more frequently, but the following products are registered for use against ticks.
 
If you have cats, there are limited products you can use, as many tick control products contain permethrin, which is TOXIC to cats. Permethrins cause hypersalivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, tremoring, seizures and death. If you accidentally apply a dog tick control product to a cat, you should contact the veterinary hospital immediately.
 
We don’t tend to see as many cats affected by the paralysis tick, perhaps because cats can scratch the ticks off more effectively than dogs. However, treatment of cats with tick paralysis is less effective and more risky compared to dogs. Frontline Spray® is the only product registered for tick prevention in cats, if used every three weeks.
 
For your dogs, the following products can be used. All except the tick collar will protect against fleas as well.
 
Advantix® will kill ticks if applied every TWO weeks. If you also have cats, make sure you separate them on the day of application, especially if your cat grooms your dog.
 
Permoxin® Concentrate is inexpensive and can be diluted and used as a weekly rinse to kill all 3 stages of ticks. It is safe to use daily if required, but is not recommended for households with cats.
 
Frontline® Plus can kill adult ticks if used every two weeks. Your dog should not get wet 48 hours before or after application, and frequent swimming or bathing will reduce the efficacy of this product.
 
Frontline® Spray can be used at the highest dose every three weeks to help protect against ticks.
 
Tick collars can be used as a repellant and are relatively inexpensive. They must be changed according to the label, and we do not recommend them in households with young children or dogs who engage in rough play. Their efficacy can be reduced if dogs swim a lot.
 
No matter what products you decide to use this summer, remember that DAILY TICK SEARCHES are the best way to find and remove any ticks before the level of poison affects your pet.
 
Come in and pick up a pamphlet to find out more about the paralysis tick.