Tick Fever

Common Causes:

In Australia there are two major types of tick, the paralysis(or blue) tick and the brown tick. The infective stage of each is very small and difficult to distinguish when on your pets skin. Both types of tick get on your animal from long grass,or native scrub, where they hatch form eggs laid by the female tick after it has taken blood from a previous host for the protein source which allow it to lay eggs.

When the juvenile tick gets on a suitable host it bites the skin and injects saliva which contains an anticoagulant to stop the wound healing over so that the tick can such the hosts blood. The problem arises because the tick saliva is a neurotoxin which paralysis, first the muscles in the hind legs then in the respiratory muscles.


Often the first signs of tick fever may be respiratory signs such as gasping for breath, difficulty in breathing  or possible hind leg paralysis so regular preventative treatment with chemical “spot-ons” is recommended to prevent symptoms occurring by killing the tick as soon as it gets on the host animal.

The only effective treatment once signs are showing are to wash the animal with insecticide to kill all ticks that may be in the fur, or alternativly by shaving all the hair to find the ticks that could be present. The veterinarian must give antitoxin and other mediciations by injection. The antitoxin needs to be given directly into the bloodstream.


Get your pet to the vet as soon as possible as you have little time once the toxins injected into your pet during the course of feeding of the tick.

 The brown tick is less dangerous and both mainly occur in the coastal regions especially in NSW and Queensland where it is warm and humid, but don’t assume you are clear of a problem if your dog is showing paralysis or breathing problems.even if you have been using tickicides and spot ons.

This is a serious situation and it is better to overreact than have your pet  die

Try using the local vet as a source of information to help prevent this scourge. AGAIN EARLY TREATMENT IS ESSENTIAL.