As Spring has begun and the weather warms up, it is more important than ever to make sure your furry friends are protected against ticks. Tick paralysis is a serious and potentially fatal condition requiring urgent veterinary attention. It is important to be aware of paralysis ticks and to actively protect your pets by following our top tips and knowing how to search your pet thoroughly for tricky ticks.
We made a special tick report for you with all our tips and tricks.
The Life Cycle of the Paralysis Tick
The natural hosts of Ixodes holocyclus include bandicoots, wallabies, kangaroos, and other marsupials. They are basically immune to the effects of the tick’s toxin. Other species affected are human, cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, cats, poultry, and other animals. The Ixodes tick goes through the three stages of Larva (6 legs), Nymph (8 legs), and Adult (8 legs). They attach to and feeding on one host during each stage. After that they are falling off and moulting before re-attaching to the same or more often a different host for the next stage.
If no host is available, the adult can survive up to 77 days without feeding.
The Female Adult feeds and engorges for 6 (cool weather) to 21 days
(warmer weather), before she drops to the ground to lay eggs. Beginning the cycle again. It is important to note that the adult female does not inject detectable amounts of toxin until the 3rd day of attachment to the host. Peak amounts being injected on days 5 and 6. Conversely the Adult Male after crawling on to the host does not attach or suck blood, but spends its time wandering around on the host looking for a female with which it can mate. The adult male is yellowish-brown, flat, oval, and smaller than the female.
What do paralysis ticks look like?
- The middle 2 pairs of legs are lighter in colour, unlike the Bush tick and Brown Dog tick which have the same colour legs.
- Legs are “bunched up” at the front of the body.
- They have a long mouth part which is called the “snout”.
Paralysis Tick Bush Tick Brown Dog Tick