Sunday, December 26, 2010

NSW Tick Plague

VETS are pooling paralysis tick drugs to cope with a shortage of antiserum.

Dog owners are being urged to take preventative measures as Sydney deals with a tick plague.

Acute shortages of the antiserum needed to save the lives of tick-affected dogs have forced many Sydney veterinarians to pool stocks at emergency veterinary clinics to ensure supply during the Christmas-New Year period.

Seaforth Veterinary Clinic principal partner Dr Terry Collins said he had came close to running out of antiserum because he had loaned supplies to emergency clinics.

"They're the ones who are going to see a lot more tick cases over the holidays, and they're going to need it," Dr Collins said.

Heavy rainfall across Australia in recent months has led to more than 1300 tick cases being reported. Vets have described it as the worst paralysis-tick season in decades.

Buddy, a cavalier king charles spaniel from Sydney's Northern Beaches, was at risk of dying after he was bitten by a paralysis tick.

"Buddy survived, but only because we were to able get him the antiserum quickly," Dr Collins said.

Australian Veterinary Association NSW president Dr Geoff Tomkins said that in recent months, many clinics had run low on antiserum.

"Demand this year has considerably outstripped supply," he said.

Antiserum wholesalers say a dry winter, followed by a wet summer, has made it difficult for suppliers to keep up with demand.



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