Tips for better tick control

 Paralysis ticks (Ixodes holocyclus) are among the most dangerous parasites that can affect your pet. It is estimated that many thousands of dogs in Australia are affected each year and, unfortunately, some die. 




During the tick season, don't take your dog walking in bush areas known to harbour ticks. Keep lawns and shrubs short and remove compost material from backyards.





The most essential preventative measure is a thorough search of your dog's skin and coat at least once a day even if tick control products have been applied. This method gives you the best chance of finding a tick before serious tick paralysis occurs.



Use the fingertips to feel through your dog's coat. Ticks or tick craters can be felt as lumps on the skin surface. 

  • Start at your dog's nose and slowly examine the face, ears, lips and eyes. Most ticks are found forward of the front legs, especially on the face, neck and ears. However, be careful to also check skin folds around the lips and ears.
  • Search around the eyes and on top of the forehead carefully before checking the neck.
  • Remove collar and search through the skin folds in the neck. Continue down the shoulders to the forelegs, remembering to check between the toes and under the armpits. Examine the chest, back, belly, around the tail and anus, and the back legs.
  • If you find a tick, remove it and don't forget to search for more. Some dogs can be infested with many ticks at one time.



As soon as a paralysis tick is found it should be removed. Quickly remove the tick without squeezing the engorged abdomen. Your veterinarian can do this or show you the best method. A special hook or tweezers may be useful




In addition to daily searching, application of products specifically intended for tick control can greatly reduce the risk of tick paralysis for your pet. Ask your veterinarian for advice. 

Two products which are widely used for flea control also have good activity against ticks. These are FRONTLINE PLUS and FRONTLINE SPRAY

FRONTLINE PLUS is for tick control in dogs and should be used every two weeks.

FRONTLINE SPRAY is for use in dogs or cats and should be used every three weeks. The spray should be applied over the whole body but take special care to rub some around the head, neck and legs using rubber gloves.

While FRONTLINE will greatly reduce the risk of tick paralysis, use of the product does not guarantee prevention of all cases of tick paralysis because ticks are not killed immediately after contact. It is therefore essential that you continue to search your dog daily after FRONTLINE applications. If ticks are found during this search, they should be removed immediately.  

Download a brochure on Tick paralysis  



Claw Wars

Clawing in cats is a natural, instinctual behaviour that helps remove old claw sheaths and acts as a marking behaviour. As many frustrated cat owners will testify, these natural behaviours are all well and good until they involve systematic destruction of your furniture!

Autum (7).jpg

There are several options that owners can adopt. Firstly, provide a highly desirable alternative to the sofa in the form of a scratching post. Scratching posts can be anything from a wooden log to carpeted constructions. They can be made more appealing by using dangling toys and catnip and praising and stroking the cat when they use the post. Cats often scratch on waking so the scratching post should be placed close to the sleeping area.

If owners can catch their cat in the act of destroying the furniture then they should employ some deterrent. Screeching, shouting, hand claps and water spray bottles can all be effective in stopping the behaviour. Double sided sticky tape or contact (applied with the sticky side outwards) can be placed onto the furniture to decrease its appeal.

There are products available that can be glued to the cat’s claws and act as a small protective sheath over each claw. These can be quiet effective but do rely on a compliant cat, as they have to be replaced regularly.

If the above fails then consider re upholstering the sofa- but use a smooth, tightly woven fabric, as this will be less appealing to your cat!



What Do They See

Many people wonder how animals view the world around them. Is it in shades of grey, or do they see the vibrant colours that our eyes can detect? Plenty of evidence now suggests that cats and dogs do see in colour, but without the vividness and wide colour spectrum available to the human eye. Animals live in a more pastel world.

The reason for this difference lies at the back of the eye, an area called the retina. Here special cells, known as rods and cones, are found. The sensitivity and ratio of these cells is different in animals when compared to humans, resulting in highly efficient vision in dim lighting with a narrower colour range. Dogs see mainly yellow and blue hues and can differentiate between shades of grey so subtle that they would appear as one colour to us. Cats see some colours but their speciality is vision in low light, where their eye is up to 130 times more efficient than ours. Both dogs and cats have difficulty seeing close objects but their sense of smell and taste more than compensate.

Autum (2).jpg