Our role

The state and territory member Societies provide services to animals in need through their shelters and inspectorates. In the national office, RSPCA Australia works to influence animal welfare policy, practice and legislation across the country
Go to Our role

Key issues

The RSPCA advocates for the welfare of animals across a number of industries, issues and platforms. Help from our supporters is important to progress change. Working together is key.
Go to Key issues
take action live sheep export alternate
Priority issue
Australia is closer than it has ever…
Live sheep export

Support us

Whether you're an individual or a business, there are multiple ways you can support the RSPCA
Go to Support us
An animal in the RSPCA care being cared for by an RSPCA vet
Donate now to support your local RSPCA and make a difference to animal welfare across Australia
Donate

About

The RSPCA is an independent, community-based charity providing animal care and protection services across the country.
Go to About
about us national statistics
Read our National Statistics
Compiled on a national basis by RSPCA…
Annual statistics

Adopt

By choosing adoption, you’ll not only have the chance to make a friend for life, but you’ll be giving an animal a second chance and helping support the RSPCA.
Go to Adopt
adopt a pet logo
Visit the Adoptapet website
Make a difference to a pet’s life today.
Search Adoptapet
Blog

Be prepared: Spring is here … and so are the ticks

Generic Avatar
  • RSPCA Australia
  • Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Spring may mean warmer weather, longer days and the return of blossoming plants, but it also means the perfect time of year for ticks to emerge.

Ensuring you know the dangers associated with paralysis ticks, and how to spot if your pet has been affected, will help keep your pets safe in the coming months.

Remember, both cats and dogs can be affected by paralysis ticks.

Paralysis tick can be fatal but can often be treated if you act quickly.

Know the signs

·         Loss of coordination in the hind legs (wobbliness in the back legs), staggering or not being able to get up

·         Weakness in the back legs

·         A change in the sound of the bark or voice

·         Retching, coughing (sometimes it is a moist cough), vomiting

·         Excessive salivation/drooling

·         Loss of appetite

·         Progressive paralysis to include the forelegs

·         Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing

·         Grunting noises when breathing

If you’re not sure, but your dog or cat is showing abnormal behaviour or symptoms, better safe than sorry – consult your vet as quickly as possible.

How to check your pet

·         Search pets thoroughly at least once a day, using your fingertips to feel carefully through the animal’s coat. Ticks or tick craters can be felt as lumps on the skin surface.

·         Most ticks are found forward of the front legs, especially on the face, neck and ears. However, remember to search the entire pet.

·         Start at your pet’s nose and slowly examine the face, forehead and ears (outer and inner surface of the ear flap). Also search the eyes and lips and the skin/fur around the eyes and lips. Carefully examine all skin folds as well.

·         Remove any collars and search the neck area thoroughly including the skin folds of the neck.

·         Continue the search, searching the shoulder area and then down the shoulders to the front legs. Remember to check between each toe and under surface of the front feet. Also check under the ‘armpits’.

·         Examine the chest area, all along the back, sides, belly, inguinal (groin) area, around the tail and anus and the thighs, back legs, in between the back leg toes and feet (including the under surface).

If your pet shows signs of tick toxicity or you find a crater or a tick on your pet, take them to the veterinarian immediately, whilst keeping your pet as calm and comfortable as possible.

Do not offer food or water or give anything orally. Pets affected by tick paralysis cannot protect their airway when they swallow (as a result of the toxin) and this may lead to inhalation of food or water into their airways, which can cause pneumonia and serious breathing difficulties.

Make a habit of treating your pet with parasite preventatives every year, as these work against paralysis ticks and can help prevent your pet from becoming ill.

subscribe box

Stay informed on big issues and how you can help improve animal welfare across Australia.

Subscribe today and we’ll keep you updated on all the latest campaigns, events and news.