LIVING in an area with bushland comes with extra hazards, both for people and our furry friends.
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As spring comes, so too do ticks and snakes.
Port Stephens local Kerri Rodley removed a tick from a friend this week.
She told News Of The Area, “I had no idea ticks were so tiny and inconspicuous!
“I won’t be letting my dog anywhere near bushland or long grass until the tick season is over as there is no way I would find such a tiny creature in her fur.
“It is amazing that such a tiny creature can kill your four legged best friend!
“Make sure they are on their tick preventative to avoid unnecessary heartache,” she said
While Kerri’s friend has recovered, the tick did make her quite ill.
Ticks can make people and animals very sick, it can be deadly.
NSW Health describes ticks as parasites that feed on animal and human blood.
They occur in humid, moist bushy areas.
They are not very mobile but rely on passing animals to both feed on and transport them.
Ticks are known to inject toxins that cause local irritation or mild irritation, however most tick bites cause little or no symptoms.
Tick borne diseases, tick paralysis and severe allergic reactions can pose serious health threats.
Tick-borne diseases occurring along the eastern coastal strip of Australia are Australian Tick Typhus or ‘Spotted Fever’.
Early symptoms of tick paralysis in people can include rashes, headache, fever, flu-like symptoms, tenderness of lymph nodes, unsteady gait, intolerance to bright light, increased weakness of the limbs and partial facial paralysis.
As the tick engorges on more human blood the tick paralysis symptoms may intensify including after the tick has been removed.
Tick typhus is treatable with antibiotics, although fatalities have been known to occur. In some susceptible people tick bite may cause a severe allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
If swelling of the face and throat causes breathing difficulties, seek urgent medical attention.
Animals with ticks can have wobbly legs, and have difficulty breathing.
Pet owners should remain vigilant and people should consider wearing insect repellent when in bushland and gardens.
By Marian SAMPSON