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Pet owners warned of NSW tick hot-spots

AAP logoAAP 13/09/2016

Tick hotspots in NSW include areas on the mid-north coast and far south coast, says a study.

Coffs Harbour, Moruya and Tuross Head have topped the list of hotspots across NSW for the deadly paralysis tick, said parasitologist Professor Stephen Barker.

For almost five years from October 2010 to last April, Prof Barker charted the postcodes where at least 50 cases of tick paralysis were reported by veterinarians to form a geo-map of cases in his Systematic Tick Mapping Study.

"The paralysis tick is a potentially lethal parasite. Although most postcodes along the eastern seaboard of NSW have paralysis ticks, some postcodes are hotspots for tick paralysis in dogs and cats," Prof Barker said.

Other hotspots included Warners Bay (2282), Cardiff (2285), North Nowra (2541), Mona Vale (2103) and Mogo (2536).

With the tick season having kicked off - from September to April - vet Dr Lisa Chimes said it is important for people to check their pet every day for ticks.

Symptoms of Tick Toxicity

Tick paralysis can be present in different ways but more common clinical signs include:

* Vomiting

* Loss of appetite

* Lethargy

* Altered pupil size

* Changes in breathing sound or pattern

* Altered ability to move, particularly with the back legs

* A change in gum colour

* Change or loss of voice (bark or meow)

Systematic Tick Mapping Study

NSW Location, Postcode, Number of cases

* Coffs Harbour (2450) - 932

* Moruya, Tuross Head, Broulee, Moruya Heads (2537 ) - 806

* Sanctuary Point, Vincentia, Old Erowal Bay, Culburra Beach (2540) - 352

* Port Macquarie (2444) - 256

* Alstonville (2477) - 180

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