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Updated: Nov 30, 2023

With the warm weather starting to kick in, it’s the perfect time for ticks to become more present in your pet’s environment.

Ticks are a type of arachnid (like spiders, scorpions, and mites) that are also parasitic.

Depending on their life cycle and feeding stage, they can vary in size. They can be as small as a pinhead or poppy seed or as big as a pencil eraser. Ticks can attach anywhere on the body, but prefer dark and hidden areas like the ears, armpits, groin, tail, and between the toes.

Paralysis Ticks

Paralysis ticks are commonly found on the east coast of Australia. They prefer bushland and scrubby areas and need humidity and warm temperatures to develop.

They are dangerous parasites, causing paralysis and even death, harming thousands of dogs and cats in Australia every year. Once attached it begins feeding and starts producing a potent toxin that affects the animal's central nervous system and causes progressive paralysis and possibly death.

Symptoms that your pet may be suffering from tick paralysis include:

● Weakness or paralysis in the back legs

● Wobbling and lack of coordination

● Coughing or gagging

● Change in tone of bark

● Difficulty swallowing

● Regurgitating or vomiting

● Drooling

● Inability to stand

If you notice any of these symptoms please phone us immediately on (07) 3288 1822.

Bush Tick

Australia is home to bush ticks which are found along parts of the east and west coast.

Bush ticks can cause skin irritation and can also transmit potentially fatal diseases when they bite (e.g. babesiosis).

Brown Dog Ticks

Brown dog ticks can cause skin irritation and heavy infestations may result in anaemia from excessive blood loss.

Brown dog ticks can also transmit potentially fatal infections from one dog to another.

How to Check Your Pet for Ticks

We recommend checking your dog’s coat after every walk or time spent outside to keep your pet healthy and tick-free.

  1. Gently move your fingertips through the coat at the level of the skin, feeling for any bumps.

  2. Start at the head and neck (don’t forget the mouth and ears).

  3. Continue down the front legs to the paws, checking in between and underneath the toes.

  4. Search the chest, belly, back, tail and back legs.

  5. Remove the collar and search for ticks that may be hiding underneath it.

What Should I Do If I Find a Tick on My Pet?

If you find a tick on your dog, it is important to remove it.

  1. Use tweezers to grab the tick adjacent to your dog’s skin (at the tick mouthparts).

  2. Twist the tick, then pluck the tick away from the skin. Take care not to squeeze the tick’s body.

  3. After removal, store the tick in a sealed container for identification by our vets.

Important: It is possible for a dog to develop signs and symptoms of tick paralysis even after you remove a tick from a dog, so it is recommended to keep a close eye on them for a few days.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.

The Importance of Flea and Tick Treatment

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. Protecting your pet from fleas and ticks aids in rapidly killing the parasites and prevents infestations! It also protects your pets from the deadly paralysis tick.

If you would like to know more about prevention please phone our friendly nurses on (07) 3288 1822.


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