IXODES holocyclus, or the paralysis tick, is found along the East Coast of Australia. With the onset of the warmer weather, we are starting to see tick paralysis cases early this year.
Their natural hosts are Australian mammals, such as bandicoots, possums and wombats, which are immune to their toxin. Unfortunately, domestic pets are not.
Ticks live on the leaves of shrubs and bushes outdoors and are carried by wild native animals. If pets pass through areas of thick bushland ticks can easily attach to their skin, which explains why ticks are primarily found on the upper bodies and front legs of animals.
The conditions in storm season only serve to increase the rate of tick occurrences, so pet owners need to be mindful of this and check pets daily. It is rare that you will notice any signs of tick poisoning on your pet until the third or fourth day of infection, so it is extremely important to perform daily check routines.
Signs of tick paralysis to look out for
- Difficulty breathing
- A change in bark or meow
- Difficulty walking, which progresses to full paralysis
All animals should be carefully searched for ticks daily, as no preventative medication is 100 per cent safe. If you do find a tick on your pet, we recommend you remove the tick straight away and bring them into the vet clinic for a consultation.