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02 6291 7711
02 6291 7951

Address: Shopping Centre,
Hanlon Crescent,
Fadden, ACT 2904
Mon - Fri:
8.00am - 7.00pm
8.00am - 3.00pm
Sun/Pub Hols: Closed

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For Out of Hours Emergencies please phone the Animal Referral Hospital Emergency on 6280 6344 or Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service on 6225 7257.

Consultations by appointment

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Tick Paralysis

Paralysis ticks are common east of the Great Dividing Range in Australia. Their natural hosts are bandicoots and other wildlife, so they are more common in bushland areas.

The female tick attaches itself to any passing animals and slowly feeds on their blood, which is a rich protein meal, so they can produce lots of eggs. During feeding, it slowly releases a toxin which blocks messages from nerves to muscles. This results in a slow onset of paralysis. The first nerves affected are the longest, those that supply the voice box and hind legs. So the first signs are usually loss of bark and weakness in back legs. Depending on how quickly the tick engorges itself, the animal becomes progressively more paralysed over hours to days. Without treatment, this can be fatal.

Many pets are affected whilst on holidays down the coast. Recent rainfall has caused an explosion in paralysis tick numbers and record numbers of pets paralysed.

Unfortunately, Proban tablets are no longer being made. Bravecto, Nexguard, Advantix, Frontline Sprays and Permoxin rinses are some of the preventatives available. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and check how long the individual products last. They should be started 2 days prior to going to the coast. When using spot-ons, do not wash, wet or shampoo your pet for 48 hours after application. These products work better on unwashed animals. Search your pet daily for ticks. Advantix should not be used on cats, or in households with cats.