Tick Paralysis

Try and make a habit of checking your pet regularly for ticks

The east coast of Australia is the perfect home for paralysis ticks. They can be found as far north as Queensland, through to NSW and down to Victoria, and typically live amongst tall grass and scrub. Paralysis ticks are extremely dangerous to dogs and cats.  If they are left undetected and untreated it can lead to significant paralysis and even death. Fortunately, tick paralysis is rare in NSW when you use various monthly preventative medications (Nexgard, Bravecto etc). Paralysis ticks seem to be more common in warmer months, but can be found at any time throughout the year.

What is a Paralysis Tick?


A paralysis tick (Ixodes Holocyclus) is a parasite that attaches itself to an animal and consumes its blood while injecting paralysing toxins. This can affect your pet’s nervous system and causes paralysis of the muscles, including the ones needed to breathe. They can vary in size depending on how long they have been attached and how much blood is consumed. Their colour can vary from a light brown to grey and are generally larger than 2mm in size.

How can I find a tick on my dog or cat?


Most paralysis ticks attach themselves around the head or neck but can be anywhere on the body. Check the coat carefully if you suspect a tick is attached. Seek medical attention if you find one or your dog/cat is experiencing the symptoms listed above. Please DO NOT REMOVE the tick yourself, contact us or the closest vet/emergency hospital if you are out of Sydney.

What are the symptoms of tick paralysis?


Typical symptoms can include:


  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness/Collapse
  • Wobbly
  • Vomiting or retching
  • Loss of bark or meow