While many ticks can be annoying to your pet, the main concern is the Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) which can cause the death of your pet in only 2 to 4 days after attaching to the animal. This tick is mostly found in the coastal eastern seaboard of Australia, but it can be carried from the area by pets, in blankets, towels, articles of clothing, on plants and in vehicles. This means your pet can pick it up from your items or even from your neighbour if they have been to the area recently.

Ticks on pets that do not show symptoms of paralysis should be removed straight away. Grasp as close to the head of the tick as possible, against your pets skin and pull sideways to remove it. Kill the tick once it is removed to prevent it injecting toxins in to your pet while dying.  If you need assistance with removing the tick, contact your vet. Once the tip is off the pet, monitor them for 24 hours and try to keep them comfortable and cool. If the pet shows symptoms such as altered bark, breathing difficulty, staggering, vomiting, muscle weakness or other unusual behaviour, get them to a vet immediately. This is an emergency situation and could mean life or death to the animal. Do not give your pet food or water until they are examined by the vet to prevent them aspirating it by accident.

Treatment of tick paralysis starts with removal of all ticks on the pet. This means clipping the pet if needed and may require medication to kill all the ticks still on the animal. An antiserum would be administered to counteract the toxins from the tick bites. Supportive care is given during recovery. Treatment of tick paralysis can be very expensive. Tick prevention is a better and less costly way to prevent it.

No anti-tick methods are 100% effective, so you should still check your pet daily if there is any chance they have been exposed to these ticks. This should continue for 7 days afterwards and thereafter check your pet once a month or so for any other ticks. Check the entire body, under the collar, between the toes, in the ears, the entire front and under the lips.

We can assist in teaching you how to do a full tick search as well as prevention for your pet and decontaminating the environment.