Ticks, especially paralysis ticks, can be dangerous to our pets, so prevention is the best approach.

Identifying paralysis ticks

Paralysis ticks have a hard body, are usually pale brown, and are about 2 to 4 mm long prior to feeding. When an adult tick feeds on your pet's blood, it increases in size dramatically, up to 14 mm long!

Signs of ticks

Paralysis ticks attach and become deeply and firmly embedded in the skin. The area where a tick is attached can become red, and a raised thickening or crater may appear. A crater is evidence that a tick has once been attached and feeding there.

How do they cause toxicity?

While the tick sucks blood from the animal, it secretes saliva that contains toxins which are absorbed into the body, causing tick toxicity. If you find a paralysis tick or suspect your pet may have a tick, you should get them to a vet immediately.

The signs of tick toxicity

Signs of tick toxicity generally develop from 72 hours after the attachment of the tick. Signs include loss of coordination, coughing, progressive paralysis starting in the hind legs, and difficulty breathing.

Check for paralysis ticks

Check your pet's coat for skin for ticks daily, especially after outings. Pay special attention to :- Head, neck, front limbs, skin folds, inside the ear flaps, between the toes and under the armpits.

Why should I see my vet?

If you have found a tick on your pet or suspect they may have a tick, get them to a vet as soon as possible because clinical signs can quickly develop. They may need tick treatment, such as anti-serum, which can be life-saving.

How to check for ticks

It’s very important to protect your pet from ticks. That means using a tick preventative product and also checking daily for ticks. We’ll show you how.

Identify common Australian ticks

Paralysis Tick

Paralysis ticks are found on the eastern side of Australia, from North Queensland to Victoria, however they can also be found inland in suitable habitats. Paralysis ticks can be life-threatening to dogs and cats, so use an effective tick control product and check your pet frequently.

Brown Dog Tick

Brown dog ticks are mainly found in northern parts of Australia, but also inland areas of Queensland, WA, NSW and Victoria. The most common host is the dog, but they can attach to cats. In high numbers they may cause health problems including skin irritation, dermatitis and anaemia.

Home protection tips

Tips for keeping your pets protected from fleas and ticks

Make your yard less appealing to ticks by cutting grass short and eliminating brush piles

Periodically wash your pet’s bed cover in hot water and dry it on a high heat setting to kill any flea eggs and larvae

Vacuum frequently in your home, especially carpets where your pet tends to lounge

Cover up all outside crawl spaces and garbage cans to deter wildlife that may carry fleas and ticks

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