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The Beach Cottage Holiday Curse

Fri 6th, Jul, 2012

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 G’day Beach Cottage ladies, well no broken limbs on our little break to the country but we did have a problem with the newest member of the Beach Cottage Crew

That member would be Barley.

Now this little family of ours has a curse, I am not sure if I have told you about it before, but it seems that we, more often than not, in some form or another, end up needing medical assistance when we are away from home.

This has come in many forms and seems also to inflict not just us but those unfortunate to travel with us – ranging from me in hospital on a tiny little Spanish island, to spider bites on heads in France to gastro in San Francisco and food poisoning in Egypt.  Yep been there got the t-shirt.

This time, it turns out the newest member to our family wanted a turn at visiting a medical establishment while being away.

So Barley has been having a whale of a time out in the country, but we were well aware that with that was the chance of ticks and various other not so nice things…although actually where we live on the beaches is one of the worst areas for ticks in Australia so we have to be vigilant at all times for them..

Anyway, we get home from a walk with Barls, and do a tick check and we find two and not very nice looking ones, I am not sure what a nice tick looks like but neither of these was one of them.

We popped them in a ziploc bag and did a bit of examining and then used the internet (which was extremely hit and miss in the place we were staying plus no phone coverage) to have a look and see whether or not we should be worried.  We were.

And so we phoned the local vet, by local I mean an hour’s drive through rough country muddy roads local…we described the ticks to the vet and he said it could well be a Paralysis Tick.

So off we went, four of us with damp eyes and Mr Beach Cottage being in control… not a word said in the car, scooting, very uncomfortably over rough terrain through the countryside and steep hills down to the town.

We arrived at the vet, got out our little bags with the creatures in, picked up Barley and went in….the horrid little creatures were examined by people who had a lot more experience than us in both dogs and ticks.

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The vets took a bit of time but sure enough, Barls had been unfortunate enough to have two Paralysis Ticks attached to him…but thank goodness we had seen them and got them early – and because we used a tick remover the heads had come out too…

If you don’t know what a Paralysis Tick is, basically, it’s fatal if you don’t catch it in time.

Luckily we had.

These country vets were amazingly lovely to us – a wet behind the ears English family out in the Australian bush – I know not what they were thinking but I am pretty sure our teary eyes, over-the-top concern, treatment of Barls as the sixth member of our family and our accents, may well have been a story over dinner that night…

I know nothing about animals really, I never had any pet in my life until now and this whole thing you might be reading and thinking how very dramatic if you, indeed, know more than me

and I don’t know anything about vets either, but these guys were so very kind and professional…

Here’s Barley getting a very thorough tick check…

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He was then given a treatment (even though Barley is up to date with tick treatment, it clearly wasn’t effective) and they explained everything to us, what to watch out for and to look out for certain symptoms over the next few days…

It seems Barley is fine though and will still be with us for now…and it seems he has had his first, and hopefully last, experience of the Beach Cottage Holiday Curse.

I will be back soon with what was Part II and Part III of our Beach Cottage Country Adventures and the breathtaking scenery that was all around…I didn’t expect this little instalment to the proceedings…

But all’s well that ends well…

Do you have any similar stories with your pets?? Love to know

Sarah

p.s. Barley has been blogging his hols at his page over here

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43 Responses to “The Beach Cottage Holiday Curse”

  1. Rachel says:

    Wow, so glad you caught it in time. I can’t believe how much he has grown! Ticks are a real worry and have had many experiences over the years. Even had one in my head once! So glad he is OK. Good spotting!

    • sarah says:

      Yes one of my kiddos had one in his head too after a walk in the bush – I just pulled it out with tweezers, it was NOT pretty and the legs wriggled like crazy afterwards…

      I am not digging ticks at all to be honest…at least we caught these early

      x

  2. Sharon says:

    We nearly lost our Golden Retriever, Pebbles (or Pebs as we call her) a few months ago. She had shaky legs and tremors and I thought she had a tick. After a thorough check, I took her to the vets who kept her in overnight and treated her for snake bites. She deteriorated rapidly and they then suspected meningitis. We had to drive her from Coffs Harbour to a neurologist on the Gold Coast, where she spent a week having spinal taps, valium, drips and various other pills and potions to treat bacterial meningitis and a secondary urinary tract infection. Thanks to some incredible (and expensive) veterinary treatment, she came home and is now her normal naughty self. Thank goodness for pet insurance who covered the $6000 bill!!

  3. Alice says:

    Oh my goodness… I am so glad everything turned out for the best. I am so paranoid about ticks and the likes not just because of my dog but also for my kids…It’s enough to turn me off going bush but hubby is pushing really hard…So bloody annoying :(… I will paranoid about the spiders, snakes and ticks mainly… The kangaroos make me nervous too… They can be quite violent creatures when in the mood for a fight…

    • sarah says:

      I hear you Alice – what gets me is the leaches! …I guess it’s all part of the lifestyle with lots of upsides to it too!

  4. Oh wow, you were lucky you found those ticks.
    What a scare.
    I can imagine how you all felt, cute little doggies have a way of making themselves a big part of the family in a very short time.

  5. Janet says:

    Touch wood, (I’m reaching round to my nan’s old cupboard,) we’ve been lucky with our dog. Mind you, I don’t know if we have ticks in Essex. He did get a grass seed up his paw once and that was bad enough. He’s a lovely boy and he’s very affectionate in the vet…until they try to do anything to him, then he tends to go a bit ape-s–t. You reaction is normal though, it’s amazing how quickly a dog becomes part of your family. Manny is our first dog and my daughters call him their brother. I wouldn’t go so far as saying he’s the son I never had but it does sometimes feel like living with a naughty little boy in the house. One who you forgive anything because you love him so much.
    Glad Barls is ok!

    • sarah says:

      oh thanks Janet!

      I am not sure if ticks are in Essex but I know you don’t want to get one xx

  6. Thank god you found them!! xx

  7. Oh my goodness, that was not nice for you guys at all. And no, you certainly don’t sound overdramatic, pets really do become a member of the family! And your pet IS super super cute!! Oh and so are you sitting on your rusty ploughy looking thingy!! Looking fwd to seeing/hearing more of your bc hol. xx

  8. This past spring our kitty had a go round with song bird fever. We almost lost her…. terrible feeling.

  9. Whew! What a close call… I can appreciate how grateful you feel. Pets are truly family, with an extra-special place in our hearts. That portrait of you & Barley is fantastic! Now take a deep breath, crisis averted. ;0)

  10. Sarah W. says:

    We recently took our dog Otis on a trip for the first time, to the woods. I made EXTRA sure that he had all his heartworm/flea/tick meds before we went and also brought along some natural dog bug spray which I spayed on him every time we went out for a hike. Luckily he didn’t get one tick! I’m glad we don’t have those paralysis ticks here in Kentucky, they’re scary (and creepy)!

  11. Sarah says:

    Poor Barley, I wonder if they are similar to the ticks we get in Dorset. We have all caught them over the last few years including the dog. I’m sure about 10 years ago they were unheard of!
    Sarah x

  12. Ewww! Ewww! Ewww! I hate those ticks, Sarah! Living out here in the country, we must be vigilant as well – especially with the hot, dry summer we’re having. I found a tick on me before after mowing the yard, and it just grossed me out. So glad that Barls is ok and will be able to continue to be a cherished part of the BC Crew. ♥ You were very wise to rush him to the vet.

    xoxo laurie

    • sarah says:

      yes they are gros, my son had one in his head a couple of years ago….euuuh to the wriggling legs!

  13. andrea says:

    Poor puppy! Our Otto got stung by a bee in teh face on a camping trip and had to spend the day at a vet we found b/c his head blew up like a basketball and he couldn’t even open is eyes! Tehy’re such little troopers, though. They just carry on…

    • sarah says:

      wow I didn’t know dogs could have a reaction to bees…just learnt another thing!

      don’t worry about the typos, I make them ALL the time at this one woman show lol xxx

  14. Mimi says:

    We were having trouble at the start of the warm weather because we did not have a cold enough winter to kill the ticks off…anyway, after research and trial we have had success with using essential oil on my dogs collars. A few drops of rose scented geranium essential oil ( make sure it is pure) about once a week has kept them away. The smell is pleasant and since you do not apply directly to their hair or skin, no problem with skin absorption. Try it Sarah! My pups are on my IG @mts202..

  15. andrea says:

    Oh my gosh, I really need to proof read before submitting, sorry for my typos.

  16. alison says:

    We acquired our ginger cat, Spanner, because of a tick bite. My husband found him lying in the bushland across the road from our house. After a couple of days-with my husband removed the tick, fed him and gave him water-I looked out the window and saw Mr alison carrying a large cardboard box towards our house.

    Spanner, who was robust in stature, arrived looking better but not fabulous. We gave him a name we all forget now but eventually a neighbour said, “Oh that’s Spanner. He lives across the valley.” We asked our neighbour to tell the owners across the valley. The message we got back was, “It’s OK, he lives at our neighbours’ house anyway so you can keep him.” And that’s how Spanner came to live at our house. Ten years after his death friends and family still talk about him lovingly. His photo is on the loungeroom shelf.

    Spanner was a legend.

    alison
    (And I’m not even a cat …or… a dog person)

  17. Ang says:

    Hate ticks!!! Glad you found it in time.

  18. Lassiegirl says:

    Wow, Australia is starting to scare me. You have mentioned other scary creatures, but I did not know such a tick existed. I TOTALLY understand the “over the top concern” and teary eyes. I’ve always had pets and I still get that way, though I’m also like Mr. BC, having to be calm and getting ot the vet. A long time back (13 yrs) when our first son was 3 mths old, still in the basinet and we were living in So. California, a black widow spider bit our dog, Zxyla, on the nose. Well, this was a Doberman headed dog that swelled-up to Rottweiler headed-size at about 4:00 in the morning when I was desperately trying to get sleep after two times being awakened already by our infant son. The dog finally got me to get up and when I saw her I shrieked for my husband to get up and everyone was off to the emergency vet some 40 minutes away. All ended well after a cortizone shot and benedryl later in the day. SO GLAD Barley is OK. Watch out for the creepy-crawlies!

    • sarah says:

      wow that sounds very scary! glad it all turned out well!

      errrm there are a few creatures here that aren’t so nice, it’s worth it though lol x

      • Lassiegirl says:

        There sounds to be so many wonderful things in Australia, I can understand when you say it’s worth it. Sometimes you have to put up with a few not-so-good things when you get so many more good things in return for it. We traded So. Cal. for Oklahoma and there are snakes and spiders I never dreamed of here, not to mention the wild weather like I never knew before, but it is worth it for so many other reasons. Love hearing about all the new things there in Australia as I have never been, but now have put it on my list of places to see someday :)

  19. Surely Sarah says:

    Oh poor Barls! I’m sure the vets wouldn’t have told stories or laughed at you. They’re in that profession because they love animals too! So they would know that you were all so concerned about your little fluffy darling :)
    Remember – CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

  20. Oh Sarah…thank goodness you were aware of ticks..
    My toy poodle “sooty” is 13.5 yrs old now & totally blind..he has lived inside all of his life (note..until i purchased him for my now 23 yo son’s 10th birthday…i was NEVER a doggie person!!)..
    BUT how he has changed my life…(i have had my dad baby sitting him today whilst I helped a friend in her new shop)!!
    THey are the best companions ever and I am just soooo glad you saved your precious “little baby”…
    I dont think “MR SOOTY” will be travelling anywhere than out into our backyard re his “business”~~~
    Hopefully there is nothing dangerous to him out there!!~~
    xx andrea

    • sarah says:

      oh I know Andrea, I was never a doggie person either, I still don’t think I am really lol apart from Barley…but they are growing on me!

      I do think they are very good companions xoxo

  21. HRH Sarah says:

    Poor Barley, glad he’s okay. He’s grown to be such a handsome little man!

  22. loulou says:

    Sarah – I am so happy to know Barley is still with “us” well, you all if you know what I mean.

    PS gorgeous photo of you and Barley.

    x Loulou

  23. Sabine says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank god Barley is ok! As our little friends are family members your reaction sounds totally normal.

    Any disease a cat could get – you name it – our Karli had it. As that is very expensive it means that our friends are going on holiday and we are driving to the vet. Worst until now was a nearly dead Karli for a week in the vet hospital followed by two weeks feeding with an injection by me as I was the only one not get caught by his claws. We were so happy when he started eating alone again!!! Now (years later) he is chief of our neighborhood (assisted by our Zoe, the only cat I know without any disease in her long life) and serves mice and moles to us (still alive and to be rescued by us) to make sure that we have enough to eat.
    Best wishes and a lot of adventures for Barley
    Sabine

  24. Sabine says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank god Barley is ok! As our little friends are family members your reaction sounds totally normal.
    Any disease a cat could get – you name it – our Karli had it. As that is very expensive it means that our friends are going on holiday and we are driving to the vet. Worst until now was a nearly dead Karli for a week in the vet hospital followed by two weeks feeding with an injection by me as I was the only one not get caught by his claws. We were so happy when he started eating alone again!!! Now (years later) he is chief of our neighborhood (assisted by our Zoe, the only cat I know without any disease in her long life) and serves mice and moles to us (still alive and to be rescued by us) to make sure that we have enough to eat.
    Best wishes and a lot of adventures for Barley
    Sabine

  25. Sabine says:

    Sorry for the doubled comment – that was a locked enter key.
    Sabine

  26. Those paralysis ticks can be pretty savage. We are lucky here in that we generally only get the fat cattle ticks. They get huge and filled up with blood and only do damage if theere are heaps of them and they make the dog weak from a lack of blood. we pull them off and squash them. We keep up with our frontline as it is fleas and the resulting worms that bother me. Did you watch the current affairs program that talked about Lyme disease being here in Aus. VERY INTERESTING!

    • sarah says:

      no I didn’t see that – now you have got me interested b/c I heard this from someone else too… x

  27. mom2ashley says:

    HI Sarah
    Sorry to hear about Barley. Sydney (our labrador retriever) had ticks too a few months ago and we didn’t realize it until we saw loads of them on our white wall outside of our house. It was gross.
    We used the Frontline Combo Spot on for dogs and it was very effective. It kills the ticks including the females ones which carry hundreds if not thousands of eggs. Also one tip I learnt is that once you remove the ticks from Barls, especially the female ones, be sure to put them in a jar with bleach/clorox in it to kill them. If you squeeze them, especially the females ones, the blood may splatter all over and the eggs may also splatter everywhere, not necessary killing them.
    Good luck!

    • sarah says:

      euuuh I didn’t know this so thanks very much for letting me know…

      I heard the Frontline spray every two weeks is much more effective that the oil treatment which we were using xo