The Paralysis Tick (Ixodes Holocyclus) is a very common tick found on the east coast of Australia. It normally lives on wildlife including bandicoots, possums and lizards which are generally unaffected by the toxin. On domestic dogs and cats however it causes marked adverse effects including paralysis and cardiorespiratory failure.
The tick starts off very small at under 1mm and is generally undetectable at first. However after around 2-3 days of attaching it starts engorging with blood and quickly grows to 3-4mm in size. Ticks generally grow in size by 1mm per day up to around 7-10mm at which time they drop off the animal. By the time a tick is detectable it has started injecting toxin into the animal which will eventually cause signs of tick paralysis.
Because by the time a tick can be detected it has already injected enough toxin to cause clinical signs and even death, prevention is absolutely the best way to ensure your pets are not affected by ticks. There are now a number of preventatives available both from veterinarians and over the counter. Make sure that the preventative you use is effective specifically against Australian Paralysis Ticks, many preventatives are effective against other ticks but NOT paralysis tick. The following are our recommendations.
A single dose every 3 months will kill over 99% of paralysis ticks on a dog. It is very safe, can be given to breeding and pregnant dogs, and does not wash off. We give a guarantee when we administer the Bravecto that if your dog has tick paralysis within 90 days of us giving the dose then we will treat them at no charge.
Nexgard is similar to Bravecto though it must be used once a month to be effective.
Frontline Top Spot is effective but MUST be used every 14 days religiously AND can be washed off with regular swimming.
Unfortunately cats cannot take either Bravecto or Nexgard. The only registered product we recommend for tick control on cats is Frontline. Unfortunately the top spot is not actually registered for control of paralysis tick however it is our experience that using Small Dog frontline every 14 days on cats is protective against ticks even in relatively high tick infested areas.
If you find a tick on your pet remove it immediately and contact us for further advice.
Animals affected can have any of the following signs:
If your pet is showing any of these signs then we recommend that they are treated for tick paralysis.