Dec 6, 2010

Temporary Tick Anti Venom Shortage

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has advised that with higher than average rainfall, this is proving to be one of the worst tick seasons on record.

The season started early and has been widespread. Whilst the mild winter and wet conditions have been ideal for ticks this year, the previous years of drought have hindered laboratories’ ability to produce enough anti venom to cope with the onslaught of ticks this year.

The anti venom is a natural product and not synthetic, so the process to produce it is very involved and time consuming. The anti venom can only be made during tick season and due to the dry conditions last year, there was not enough stock to cope with the demands of the season this year.

This has resulted in a shortage of anti venom, with veterinary wholesale distribution companies reporting that the anti venom is currently out of stock.

Bayer Animal Health is therefore appealing to pet owners across the east coast of Australia, where paralysis ticks are found, to use preventative treatments, such as Advantix for dogs, fortnightly during tick season to make sure that their dogs don’t get bitten by ticks.

“The holiday season is approaching and many pet owners will be traveling to coastal regions with their pets where paralysis ticks are common. We love our pets and wouldn’t want anything terrible to happen to them, and whilst laboratories are working hard to produce enough anti venom to alleviate the shortage in the next few weeks, it is important to understand the risks and symptoms of tick paralysis and how to prevent your pets falling victim to these dangerous parasites,” said Dr Bob Rees, Bayer Animal Health Technical Services Veterinarian.

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