Spring is here and with it comes an unwanted pest for dogs and cats - the Paralysis Tick.para-tick

New ticks hatch at this time of the year and are particularly toxic to dogs and cats. Many native animals have developed a resistance to the ticks poison, including their natural host the bandicoot, but unfortunately most dogs and cats are badly affected if a tick attaches to them.  The paralysis tick injects a poison into the system which progressively paralyses the host animal. Early signs of tick paralysis include vomiting, a change of bark and faster breathing. This quickly progresses to hind and forelimb paralysis and finally death.

Traditionally we have very few ticks in the Kalinga/Wooloowin and Wavell Heights areas but this year seems to be a bit different. There seems to be a lot more ticks around and already in early spring we are finding ticks on dogs on a regular basis and have had several cases of paralysis. Perhaps all the rain we had last summer has created more favourable conditions. Similarly you don't have to travel too far from this area for ticks to be seen - notably the Sunshine Coast, a popular weekend and holiday destination.  Every spring and summer we have animals in hospital with tick paralysis - the result of dogs picking up ticks further afield and bringing them home.

If you are taking your dog into tick areas we recommend the following precautions:


What should you do if your Pet has eaten or been bitten by a Bat or Flying fox?

Immediatly call us on 07 33571588, there is a specific protocol in place to handle dogs or cats that have had potential contact with an infected bat or Flying fox.

Should I try and move the bat from the pet?

  • Even if the bat is dead I would advise against any direct contact.

What Should I do if I think I might have beenbitten or scratched?


What can happen if I don't get treatment or post exposure vaccination for my Pet?

  1. Maybe nothing - if the bat wasn't carrying Australian Bat Lyssavirus. The risk of infection is low. but the result of infection could be death, that's a big risk!
  2. If the pet becomes infected, it will die usually within 90 days but it has been recorded for deaths to take as long as 27mths

You can call us and ask to speak to Dr Ben Charlton, to further clarify all of the points discussed above, the queensland government has a protocol in place we follow to provide the correct treatment for these patients.

Rhinella marina or Bufo Marinus, Cane toad

Ugly little creatures that hop around the back garden at night may not be interesting to humans but they are very interesting to our dogs and this summer there are more than ever.  The unusually wet summer we are having has meant the conditions have been perfect for toads to breed and we are seeing a population explosion in our surburban gardens.  This is bad news for our inquisitive canine friends because toads are poisonous and possibly fatal.  Toads have poison glands on their backs which are used for their defence and when mouthed or bitten by a dog the toad squirts the poison into the mouth or eyes of the dog.

The poison is very irritant and causes a burning sensation of tongue and gums which leads to extensive salivation and frothing at the mouth.

If the dog gets a lot of poison then other signs can quickly develop such as muscle weakness, collapse, seizuring and finally death as the toad poison affects the heart muscle.

If your dog is unlucky enough to be affected by a toad the first thing to do is wash out the dogs mouth using running water from the hose or tap.  A good rinsing for 5 minutes will, in 90% of cases, relieve all signs and nothing else will be necessary.

The dog should however be closely observed for the next hour and if the frothing continues or if other signs develop then you should contact us immediately.