What is a tick ?
Ticks are external parasites that feed on blood sucked from humans or animals.
The Australian Paralysis Tick, Ixodes holocyclus, is a particulary mean litte sucker. Found in Eastern Australia and is a parasite to native mammals, livestock, pets and even people.
They are found in a variety of habitats across the humid coastal regions of eastern Australia, particularly wet sclerophyll forests and temperate rainforest areas, but can also be found anywhere there is grass, in backyards and in parks. So pretty much everywhere you and your pets like to strut our stuff or wander.
- Ticks dont jump or fly but crawl slowly. They drop from blades of grass or twigs onto us and our pets.
- Ticks embed themselves where the skin is thin (the back of the knee, the armpit, the groin) by inserting their rostrums in the skin.
- They secrete substances through their saliva glands which allow them to anchor themselves solidly in order to suck blood.
- The most dangerous tick is the paralysis tick, which injects a powerful neurotoxin that can be deadly to dogs.
- Ticks can also pass on debilitating diseases to your dog, such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis (sound scary, they are).
- Problems associated with Paralysis Tick bites are allergic reactions ranging from mild itching and swelling to potentially life threatening anaphylactic shock.
- Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) being transmitted to humans by ticks. Get bitten by an infected tick, that's all it takes. If it is left untreated, this infection can eventually affect, either directly or indirectly, most body organs in an acute and / or chronic manner and lead to different effects, depending on the particular organ and the patient, and can finally result in physical and mental handicap.