A SUNSHINE Coast dog lover is calling for drug companies to subsidise the cost of the paralysis tick treatment, with many beloved pets clogging veterinary emergency departments on the weekend.

Karen Lucas spent $450 on the treatment for her beloved maltese-cross Iggy on Saturday.

When she rushed Iggy to the Maleny Veterinary Service, there were "five dogs in there all with the tick".

Vet Dr Debbie Thorne confirmed there were "between 15 and 20 pets" treated at the practice on the weekend alone.

But she said this wasn't unusual for this time of the year with spring being the peak of the tick season.

Ms Lucas said it was money many people could not afford.

"My dogs have a tick collar on, but when I came home my other dog also had two ticks embedded in her lip," she said.

"How can people afford this? It is cheaper to get your dog euthanized than save them."

She only had high praise for the staff at Maleny, but argued the "mongrel companies who make the treatments" should subsidise the cost. "I hope the drug company does something to make it cheaper for ordinary people," she said.

Dr Thorne said the mark-up on the anti-venom for the paralysis tick was "very little" and it was an expensive anti-venom to manufacture.

"The cost of $450 is the start for an uncomplicated case for a small animal, it can go into thousands of dollars when secondary issues are involved," she said.

She recommended people try to reduce the risk with anti-tick collars and treatments and also take out pet insurance.

"There is nothing worse than watching an animal suffer then knowing you can have potentially a big bill," she said.

While the anti-venom helped, it also wasn't a 100% guarantee.



  • Animal is lethargic
  • A change in the sound of their bark or miaow
  • Vomiting
  • Wobbly back legs
  • Grunting in respiration