Save your pet's life by checking for ticks

Tick season kicks off in Queensland.

Queensland pet owners have been urged to check their pet’s fur daily as paralysis tick season begins. 

The paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is a small parasite that feeds on the blood of native animals, such as possums. The tick can also bite dogs and cats, which do not have immunity to the tick.

When the tick bites a pet it releases a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis and eventual death.

Fortunately, vets can administer a treatment serum once a paralysis tick bite has been positively identified, but it’s essential to take your pet to the vet immediately if you suspect they have been bitten.

Pawshake founder Tanguy Peers said Queenslanders should check their pets daily for ticks.

“You may not even see a tick once your pet displays symptoms, as it may have dropped off after biting,” Mr Peers said.

“This is why it is so important to be diligent in checking your pet’s fur around their legs, belly, ears, chin, torso and tail.”

Mr Peers said preventative treatments and yard maintenance could help pet owners avoid expensive vet bills.

“It’s a good idea to speak to your vet and discuss the various tick treatments on the market and always clear up long grass and plant clippings from around the house,” he said.

The paralysis tick is most active from spring through to summer and is most common in humid conditions on the east coast. 

The tick can be found in grassy environments and bushland, including suburban backyards and parks.
Call your vet immediately if you find a tick.

Paralysis tick symptoms

  • Lethargy and wheezing.
  • Unusual sounding meow or bark.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Coughing, retching, gagging, vomiting.
  • Loss of coordination.