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Ticks •
The main Tick species in Australia include:
  • The Indigenous Tick
    - found in Western Australia, Tasmania, the south-east coastal region of New South Wales and central Victoria. It may cause paralysis.
  • Paralysis Tick
    - found from northern Queensland to Bairnsdale in Victoria along the coastal regions. Causes paralysis.
  • Cattle Tick
    - found in Queensland, north-eastern New South Wales, Northern Territory and Western Australia. This tick is rare on dogs and carries parasites found in cattle blood.
  • Bush Tick
    - also known as a scrub tick and New Zealand cattle tick. It is found in the southeast coastal area of Queensland, along the New South Wales coast line and through north eastern Victoria along the Murray River.
  • Brown Dog Tick
    - found mainly in inland areas of Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Most prevalent in the northern parts of Australia. Carries a wide range of infectious diseases including Babesia Canis which can occur in a symptom less carrier state or in disease form ranging in severity from mild to severe and occasionally causing death.
  • Other ticks
    - found in Australia include the Cat Tick, Possum Tick, Opossum Tick and the Wallaby Tick.

Source: Department of Agriculture and The Australian Venom Research Unit

Australian Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyus)

Distributed in south eastern coastal temperate regions from Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, the Australian Paralysis Tick secretes a neurotoxin in its saliva that causes a progressive, and occasionally fatal, paralysis. In some case a severe hypersensitivity reaction may occur. The tick often goes unnoticed until weakness or ataxia develop, and is only found during an extensive search of the body. Sometimes there is a localised paralysis of facial muscles, although more common is the progressive flaccid paralysis that affects the lower limbs first.

Prevention is better than cure: If you know you are going into tick areas, wear long, light-coloured trousers and tuck them inside tight socks. You can then keep an eye out for ticks crawling up the outside of your trouser legs, these can then be brushed off before they get to your skin.

Removal of ticks: Ticks can be removed in many ways, but you should always avoid leaving the head behind, as it will become the source of infection. Never grip the the sac and pull, as this may squeeze more venom into the wound.  Gripping the tick this way may also cause you to leave the head and ‘torso’ behind. Never pull the tick out by gripping the end part of the body, as this will break off and also fail to remove the head and legs. Most people recommend these days to grip the tick as near to the head as possible with a pair of pointy tweezers or forceps. Ordinary eyebrow tweezers are not much help, because the points are too wide. There are other methods of removal, details found by visiting some of the links listed on this page.

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Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Acarina
Suborder: Parasitiformes
Superfamily: Ixodoidea
Family: Ixodidae

Other links - Ticks

The Paralysis Tick of Australia
• Email • A great informative site that includes differences between ticks, methods of removal, after removal and some great images of ticks.
Ulladulla Veterinary Hospital • Robert Wylie BVSc QDA
• A great review from a practitioner with extensive experience with tick paralysis, as well as a good selection of FAQs.
Lowchens of Australia: Ticks, Bees and Other Gremlins
The Australian Venom Research Unit
• Department of Pharmacology • University of Melbourne, MELBOURNE VIC 3010
• Ph:03 8344 7753 • Fax: 03 9348 2048 • Email
• The Australian Venom Research Unit aims to provide world class expertise on Australia's venomous creatures, their toxins and the care of the envenomed patient. Includes information on First Aid for Venomous Bites and Stings, Medical treatment for Venomous bites and stings.
Love My Pet
• PO Box 1225, CAPALABA DC QLD 4157
• Check out their Ticks in Australia.
Tick • Wikipedia
• The free encyclopedia has some info on ticks.


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