Paralysis Ticks


Ticks thrive in moist, humid, and bushy areas. They normally feed on native animals like bandicoots and possums which are their natural hosts – so any areas with wildlife are likely to have ticks too.

Paralysis ticks occur all year round, however their numbers are at a peak from early spring to late summer, when the weather is warmer and more humid. Please be extra vigilant with your animals and if you are in a tick prone area, ensure that your pets are tick searched daily and tick prevention treatment is kept up to date.

There are a number of products that can be used to prevent ticks such as Nexgard Spectra or Bravecto.

Ticks are small external parasites that attach to and suck the blood of animals (and humans). There are many species of ticks within Australia however the most common species and the one we are most worried about with our pets is the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus). This tick is found along the eastern coast of Australia from North Queensland and all the way down to Victoria.


  • Dilated pupils
  • Weakness in the back legs. Walking along then sitting down suddenly is common
  • A change or loss of voice, for example the meow or bark becomes softer or changes pitch
  • Vomiting, especially when it happens several times a day and froth is present


  • Wobbliness in the back legs
  • Panting, progressing to loud breathing, and even grunting noises
  • Dogs may experience a moist cough and breathing signs (common in King Charles spaniels, schnauzers, and other short nosed dogs


  • Animals become unable to stand
  • Breathing becomes exaggerated and difficult
  • Frequent gagging, grunting, or coughing
  • Gums become cold and blue-tinged as breathing gets difficult

Most important!

In domestic pets, tick paralysis is just as life-threatening (though more slowly) as snake bite. If your pet shows any signs possibly indicating tick paralysis you are very strongly urged to contact your veterinarian for immediate advice. The effectiveness of anti-tick serum is most dependent on how early it is administered. Early treatment (involving hospitalisation) offers the best chance of full recovery.

The team at Jacobs Well Veterinary Surgery offer you and your best friend a team of specialised professionals to ensure the best care each time you visit us.

Jacobs Well Veterinary Surgery

At Jacobs Well Veterinary Surgery, your pet will receive the best possible treatment and care. 
"Where they are treated like the people they are!"