Don't cross off ticks from pet check list just yet

Vet Roxanne Fraser with siamese cat Syd Hollywood which has recovered from two paralysis ticks at Booval Veterinary Hospital.
Vet Roxanne Fraser with siamese cat Syd Hollywood which has recovered from two paralysis ticks at Booval Veterinary Hospital. Sarah Harvey

VETS are urging Ipswich pet owners to check their animals for paralysis ticks, following the report of high numbers this summer.

Booval Veterinary Hospital has recorded 91 cases since September while the Silkstone Veterinary Hospital reported more than 60 cases over summer.

Other vets such as the West Ipswich Animal Welfare League said their cases were dropping off after a peak in November, but urged people to maintain checks.

Booval Veterinary Hospital partner Craig Render said spring and summer months were the highest risk periods for ticks.

"Paralysis ticks are carried by some native animals like possums and bandicoots," he said.

A paralysis tick
A paralysis tick NSW Department of Primary Indust

"That means a lot of suburban areas are just as at-risk as people in the bush, where you might think ticks are a bigger problem."

Silkstone vet Jenny McCleary said while ticks could be on any part of a pet's body they were mostly found around the head.

"Ticks are apparently attracted to carbon dioxide that is breathed out," she said.

"They're nearly always found on the head or neck. We had some in recently with ticks on their feet, but that's not common."

Dr Render said rubbing down a pet every day was the best way to make sure your pets didn't have ticks. "The best method is a daily check using your fingers to feel and identify any lumps and bumps," he said.

"If you find any new lumps or bumps, especially around this time of year, it's best to get them checked out."

As their name suggests paralysis ticks can cause paralysis in animals which can lead to death.


  • Female ticks latch onto the body of an animal and feed on the host's blood.
  • Most native animals known to carry the ticks have become immune to toxins.

They're nearly always found on the head or neck. We had some in recently with ticks on their feet, but that's not common.

Topics:  paralysis ticks

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