A heartbroken Sunshine Coast woman is urging pet owners to be on the lookout for paralysis ticks after her beloved sausage dog, Noodle, fell victim to the parasite last week.
Doonan woman Laurie Daams said she had no idea paralysis ticks were active all year, and urged pet owners to check their animals daily.
Noodle unexpectedly started dragging her legs and refusing food on Monday. When she was taken to an emergency vet, a tick the size of a pin head was found on her upper lip.
Dog lovers go mutts for new pet-friendly cafe
MEGA GALLERY: 150+ photos of Coast hockey deciders
Ms Daams said while she checked both her sausage dogs regularly for parasites, she didn’t realise paralysis ticks weren’t just a danger in the warmer months.
“It didn’t even cross my mind (that it was) a tick,” she said.
“We gave our dogs a tick treatment every summer. We came from WA four years ago and didn’t realise these paralysis ticks were such a problem all year round.”
Now, she wants to keep the “incredible” dog’s legacy alive by saving other pet owners the same heartbreak she and her family were now facing.
The RSPCA says paralysis ticks, while tiny, are one of the most dangerous parasites affecting domestic pets. They can cause severe illness and, unfortunately, often death.
“Keep this tick treatment up all year round people. So many people think it’s just a summer thing,” Ms Daams said.
Noodle had overcome a savage mauling in 2016 and while it left the dog with broken back and lifelong injuries, Ms Daams said she still had a zest for life and a personality bigger than her small size.
“After she survived that dog attack I think she was so grateful every day to be alive. She bounced along with life every day,” she said.
Ms Daams is now pleading with other pet owners to educate themselves about paralysis ticks to avoid the “horrendous” heartbreak.
“It tears your heart into pieces,” she said.