Ticks are everywhere in Australia, and if you live anywhere near the coast, you’ll know all about our dreaded paralysis ticks too.
And while your dog or cat can get a tick at any time of year (they don’t die off or hibernate, see here), September starts official paralysis tick season in many areas of Australia. Come September, your pet should be fully protected against these nasties.
But what are ticks?
Australian ticks have 4 stages in their life: Egg, larva, nymph and adult. At all stages except the egg stage, a tick must take a blood meal.
What makes paralysis ticks so dangerous?
When a paralysis tick bites or feeds, it injects a neurotoxin into the bloodstream of the animal. A paralysis tick’s toxin then causes paralysis of the animal’s muscles.
Because of this, paralysis ticks are the most deadly tick species in Australia, one bite can kill a large dog. There are two paralysis tick species in Australia, the Australian and the Tasmanian paralysis tick.
How to spot a tick on your cat or dog.
1. Finding a tick in, or around your home.
2. Give you dog or cat a full rub down.
3. Your dog acts strange.
After a tick bite, especially a paralysis tick, your dog may show symptoms of a fever, weakness or not wanting to play like normal, no appetite, different shivering (for small dogs who can do it for other reasons) and any unusual panting. If you notice any of these sign, please see a vet!
4. Excessively nipping or licking.
5. Unusual scabs or skin irretations.
6. Unusual head shaking.
7. Keep the tick for identification.
How to remove a tick.
Bush tick, paralysis tick or other species, here’s what you need to do if you find a tick on your pet. Firstly, try not to panic! When you panic your pet will too, and you may try to remove the tick the wrong way (if you’re in a rush), which can cause even more pain and complications.
Across is a video