Horses and Australian Paralysis Ticks

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I have discussed the deadly effects of paralysis ticks on dogs and what to do when a dog has a tick, so let see how these dangerous ticks can affect horses.

An adult horse carrying only one tick is unlikely to dye from the bite due to his size but will certainly show signs of paralysis. Young horses may be at risk of succumbing to the toxins though.


  • The most common sign is lameness, especially if the tick is located on or near a limb. The horse may drag his leg.
  • Respiratory difficulty: breathing may be heavy and slow
  • Choking: as the toxins of the tick are released in the body and the muscles start to malfunction, the horse may look as if he is choking. Horses cannot vomit like a dog so it looks like he is choking instead. he might have some saliva and foam at the mouth.
  • Staggering gait: the horse may walk strangely and vacillates
  • Sweating: the horse might start to sweat heavily
  • Swollen body parts: the tick bite area may be swollen and red
  • General distress: the horse may look distressed, have dilated pupils and may even lay down.

What to do

The first thing to do is to call a vet and explain the symptoms. The vet may suspect a tick bite or maybe something else. Discuss with your vet what you need to do until he/she arrives. read more

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Australian Paralysis Tick And Your Dog – Part 2

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In part 1, we’ve discussed the life cycle of ticks and the symptoms of the paralysis ticks of Australia when a dog or cat has become a feeding host. In this final article, I will explain what you can do for your pet when he has been bitten by a paralysis tick, how to remove the tick and tick prevention.

What to do if your pet has a paralysis tick

By now you have familiarised yourself with the symptoms of such tick bite and you are able to recognise the first signs.

The animal will become extremely distressed as the symptoms worsen. It is important to keep your pet calm as the toxins travel faster with the blood when the heart is pumping more rapidly. Be cautious when handling a distressed pet, especially cats as they are unable to discern what is happening around them and can easily cause harm to the handler. read more

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Australian Paralysis Tick And Your Dog – Part 1

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As soon as spring and the rain arrive, so do the ticks. Here, on the eastern coast of Australia, the deadly Australian paralysing tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is a tick dreaded by all pet owners as it can kill a dog within few hours and may cause serious illness to humans when bitten. In America, the Brown Dog Tick or “Rhipicephalus Sanguineus” is well known for carrying the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This blood-feeding parasite not only carry many diseases able to infect humans, it also presents serious danger to all pets. read more

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