Paralysis tick exists only in Australia. So, how it is differentiated from tick from other countries? Here it is necessary to see not only the looks of the parasites, but also the difference in their abilities to transmit the diseases to pets and humans because it’s perhaps the major difference between the two types. Gordon Vet Clinic, a well-known Lindfield veterinary clinic, shares some valuable details here.
Difference between the Abilities of Transmission of Diseases : As far as ticks from other countries are considered, transmission of diseases is a main concern. To tackle this problem, removal and handling methods are suggested to reduce the chances of rendering of infectious material of microbes by the tick (especially Lyme disease). This problem has not been a major concern in Australia till date.
Difference in Concern for Tick Paralysis : In Northern America, removal of tick brings about significant improvement in paralysis within 24 hours and often total recovery within 72 hours. In short, tick paralysis is not a major concern there, but tick-transmitted diseases are. On the other hand, in Australia, tick-transmitted diseases in humans are not a major concern. However, it should be mentioned here that a sizeable spread of tick-associated Lyme-like disease and some cases of Rickettsial Spotted Fever had occurred (though most of the affected individuals recovered with antimicrobial treatment).
Concerns with Removal of Paralysis Tick : Removal of paralysis tick associates to problems in Australia. While it may rarely cause an abrupt ingestion of allergenic substances in humans, in pets (and children) ingestion of the dangerously toxic saliva is a major concern. Most situations of Australian tick paralysis worsen initially just after the tick removal.
Difference in Strategies : Obviously strategies for removal of tick of both the countries (Australia and America) are different. While strategies for removal and handling of American tick are developed mainly to minimise the risk of ingesting more microbes, strategies for removal of Australian paralysis tick are focused on minimising the ingestion of toxins (in pets and kids) and allergens (in humans).
Precaution is Still Necessary : Though there is a difference in the problems caused by both types of ticks, in case of Australian paralysis tick, precautions are still necessary regarding tick-borne diseases because they do occur in Australia too. Sadly an evidence doesn’t exist about whether issues about tick removal are real or the strategies suggested to minimise the apparent risks are useful. Nevertheless, there is no harm in taking these precautions.
Methods of Removal : Ideally a vet should remove the paralysis tick from a pet’s skin. This is because if the body of the tick is squeezed while removing it, it releases more amount of toxic saliva, and allergen- and pathogen-laden gut fluid of the tick that can cause even more danger. However, if you find a tick at night or when your vet is out of town and there is no other vet nearby, you won’t have time to think on how to remove a paralysis tick from a dog yourself. At such times, you should execute due care, like:
- Take care about not to squeeze the tick’s body
- Remove the tick with tools like tick extractor (tick hook), forceps, tweezers or scissors
Using Fingernails to Remove Tick : Professional vets usually execute this method because they are experienced with it. However, if you want to use your fingernails for this purpose, you should observe necessary caution, because the act of tick removal is associated with exacerbating allergic reactions.