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Tick bites in Australia

How Dangerous are Tick Bites in Australia?

Tick bites in Australia pose a deadly threat to your dog. Find out more about these dangerous parasites, what to do if bitten and how to best protect your pet.

How Dangerous are Tick Bites in Australia?

One of the best aspects of living in Australia is the great outdoors, not to mention the host of wildlife that goes with it. However, not all of Australia’s creatures live in harmony with your pets and some can be outright dangerous. If you’re a dog owner, you will probably be familiar with the threat that tick bites can pose to dogs.  Properly understanding the risks of tick bites in Australia can help you protect your pet.

Find out what different species of ticks are found in Australia and how they can impact your pets and you. Knowing where you’re most at risk and how to protect your pet means you can get out and enjoy nature to the fullest.

What are ticks and how do they grow?

There are more than 800 species of ticks around the world, with more than 70 found in Australia. The most damaging tick is the Paralysis Tick, Ixodes holocyclus, found predominantly along the East Coast of Australia.

Blood is vital to the life cycle of a tick. It’s needed to grow from the larval stage to a nymph and then to an adult. Depending on the tick species, a female adult tick can lay thousands of eggs in her lifetime, which are deposited in the environment.

Take extra precaution in these high-risk areas

Long grass and bushland provide the ideal environments for ticks. If you live in or close to areas like these, it is not uncommon to have ticks, including paralysis ticks, in your garden. Your dog can also be exposed to ticks during walks or when holidaying in high risk areas.

Ticks detect the presence of an animal through vibrations, body heat and carbon dioxide, and will crawl on to the dog as it passes by. Once on the dog, the tick will crawl over the dog searching for the optimal attachment site, before attaching and feeding on the blood of your dog.

How tick bites affect your dog

The effect of a paralysis tick bite on your dog can be fatal. These ticks inject a neurotoxin when feeding on the blood of dogs, which leads to paralysis. Symptoms of tick paralysis typically begin about 3-4 days after ticks begin feeding, with the most common signs including lethargy, weak or wobbly hind legs progressing to difficulty standing, difficulty breathing and changes to the sound of the voice. Not to be underestimated, a single paralysis tick can kill a dog!

Other species of ticks can also transmit dangerous organisms, such as bacteria, when feeding. These can cause serious disease. Diseases can be transmitted very rapidly, leading to anaemia and blood clotting abnormalities. Other less specific symptoms may include fever, lethargy and inappetance.  

What should you do if you find a tick on your dog?

Remove the tick immediately and keep looking for more. To safely remove the tick place your thumb and index finger or tweezers close to the skin where the tick is attached and use a twisting and pulling movement to remove the tick, including the inserted mouth part.

It’s important to keep the tick in a plastic container or zip lock bag for identification by your vet. It is not uncommon to find more than one tick attached at any one time, so always keep looking.  Once you have removed all the ticks you can find, you need to take your dog to the vet immediately, especially if your dog is displaying symptoms of tick paralysis. It is a good idea if you can to take someone with you who can keep searching for ticks while on your way to the vet.

Preventing tick bites

Preventing tick bites is the key to protecting your dog. Remember, the bite of a single paralysis tick can be fatal and ticks also transmit diseases, cause pain and discomfort, and may leave unsightly scars on your dog.

Seresto® kills ticks before they bite and take a blood meal, reducing the risk of tick paralysis and the transmission of diseases. Instead, ticks pick up the active ingredients in Seresto® on their feet while crawling on a treated pet’s hair and skin.

This results in avoidance behaviour called the ‘hot foot’ effect – which is like people walking on hot sand with bare feet – and the tick will try to escape.

Shortly after this, the tick becomes paralysed, falls off the pet and dies before having a chance to bite or feed on your pet. Seresto® provides protection for 4 months against ticks for dogs, including the paralysis tick, so you can rest easy while enjoying the great outdoors with your dog.

Got a pet health question?

If you have a question on anything from parasites to pet health, ask us we don't bite!

Call The Advantage Pet Care Line on 1800 678 368.

Seresto for Dogs

Seresto provides long-lasting tick and flea protection for dogs.


Treats
Fleas, Ticks

Signs of a Tick on a Dog

Find out what to look for and ensure your dog receives the right treatment

- ↓ -

Got a pet health question?

If you have a question on anything from parasites to pet health, ask us we don't bite!

Call The Advantage Pet Care Line on 1800 678 368.

Seresto for Dogs

Seresto provides long-lasting tick and flea protection for dogs.

Treats
Fleas, Ticks

Signs of a Tick on a Dog

- ↓ -

Find out what to look for and ensure your dog receives the right treatment