How to Protect Your Pet From Ticks in Australia
Ticks; do you live in a high risk area? Learn how to protect your pet during tick season and from other parasites all year round.
There’s much to love about Australia’s warmer months, but ticks aren’t one of them! Unfortunately, these horrible parasites put our pet’s health at risk and can even be fatal, so knowing how to protect your pet during tick season is crucial.
Where Do Ticks* Come From?
While more common in the warmer months, your pet can be affected by ticks all year round. Ticks typically live in long grass, beaches, sand dunes, or bushland — all places your dog loves to roam.
But, ticks don’t just affect dogs; they can just as easily harm cats too. Owners can unknowingly bring ticks into their homes. If you’ve been outdoors, there’s a chance a tick might be hitching a ride on your shoes or clothing.
What is Tick Paralysis?
When a tick latches onto your pet, it can cause paralysis when the toxin produced by the tick is transmitted to the pet in the tick’s saliva (when the tick feeds). The toxin directly affects the pet’s nervous system. ‘Paralysis ticks are often un-noticed on your pet until they start to show clinical signs. Once your pet is showing signs, they can become paralysed in a matter of hours
Tick paralysis can be fatal and needs immediate attention, so look for these early warning signs and call your vet ASAP!
Signs of Tick Paralysis
Ragged breathing and coughing
- Change in bark or meow
Your pet may also collapse.
How to Spot a Tick
Ticks can be hard to spot — especially if your pet has a longer coat. That’s why regularly checking your pet’s fur is an excellent habit. Simply run your hands through your pet’s coat to carefully look for any lumps or bumps. Ensure you check all parts of your pet, including in and around tricky spots like the ears, between the toes and around the mouth.
Paralysis ticks appear different to other ticks. They have their legs close to the head and their body is often grey in colour — however, this is an unreliable identifying feature, as they can also be darker in colour.
You can also use a small comb to brush through your pet’s hair. Just be extra careful not to brush too hard — you don’t want to separate a tick’s head from its body if you come across one.
What’s the Best Way to Prevent Ticks?
A great way to protect your pet during tick season is to keep an eye on your pet’s environment. This includes things like performing regular tick searches and keeping your lawn and garden well maintained.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to completely prevent our pets from coming into contact with ticks, so the best way to protect them is by treating them regularly with a tick prevention product.
What About Other Parasites?
Keeping your pet protected from parasites all year round is the goal, so don’t forget to keep up regular flea and deworming treatments too. Fleas, and your pet’s other daily habits, put them at risk of intestinal worms — another threat to your four-legged friend’s well-being.
*Ixodes holocyclus ticks do not occur in Western Australia.
Ensuring your pets are protected against ticks during tick season is crucial, but did you know that protection against worms is all year round?
Find out more about worms in pets, the symptoms and how to treat them!Worms in Dogs Worms in Cats