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Paralysis Ticks

One of the biggest concerns facing pet owners in the Cairns region is the risk of tick paralysis. In Australia around 75,000 dogs and cats are paralysed by these deadly ticks each year. The paralysis tick is found mostly on the eastern coast of Australia, from Far North Queensland to Northern Victoria. In Far North Queensland these ticks are more prevalent from June to December but cases do occur all year round. Areas of natural bush land, creeks etc which harbor native animals, particularly bandicoots, are the most likely areas where paralysis ticks are found.

How does the tick cause paralysis?

When a paralysis tick crawls onto pets or other animals (called the host), they wander over the body before attaching to feed. During feeding the tick releases a neurotoxin called Holocyclotoxin, which is excreted from the tick’s salivary glands, into the host. This toxin blocks the cells of the central nervous system causing life threatening paralysis.

Symptoms of tick paralysis include:

The host animal usually shows no signs of illness for approximately four days after the tick attaches, however once the dog or cat begins to show symptoms they deteriorate very rapidly.

What to do if you find a tick or your pet begins showing symptoms?

Ticks can be difficult to find and pets can quickly progress to severe paralysis or death. Early diagnosis and treatment gives your pet the best chance of recovery.

How to prevent tick paralysis

For more information on tick paralysis or advice on the right tick prevention product for your pet, please contact us.

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