Tick season kicks off in spring, and it seems this year our canine friends are under particular threat. The Australian Veterinary Association reports that more than 700 cases of tick paralysis have been reported in Queensland and NSW, so checking your dogs (and cats) for ticks is more important than ever.
Ticks are more common in coastal areas, but can be an issue anywhere where there's long grass or scrubland. According to the AVA, "they tend to attach to the head and the neck area of the pet and on the chest and the front of the leg, but can be found on any part of the body".
The AVA recommends daily tick checks for both dogs and cats, and suggests monitoring animals for 24 hours after removing a tick, since the toxin can still affect them. Common signs of tick paralysis include gurgling, choking and (for dogs) being unable to bark properly. If you're in an especially tick-prone area, using a collar or repellent treatment may also help.