“Tick season runs from 1st September to the end of January. We rarely see tick poisoning outside this window…”

Tick Season, Beware!

The Tick Prevention Pack

We recommend the following as a minimum:


  • Frontline applied every 2 weeks and a tick collar (KilTix is the one recommended by SVH Vets)
  • Or Advantix applied every 2 weeks.
  • Daily tick searching
  • Frontline applied every 2 week
  •  Daily tick searching

    In both cases avail yourself of a Tick Twister - these are great for complete easy removal of tiny larval to large adult ticks, available at our front desk.

General Notes

The poisoning of your pet by a paralysis tick is as serious as a bite from a poisonous snake. Seeking urgent veterinary attention for animals affected by tick paralysis is just as important as it is for those affected by snake poisoning. Well over a thousand pets die from tick paralysis each year.
Several toxic fractions are injected into an animal from the salivary glands of the paralysis tick when it is attached and these toxins can cause many complications. Early treatment with tick paralysis antiserum and hospitalization will result in saving your pet's life in nearly all cases.
Tick season runs from 1st September to the end of January. We rarely see tick poisoning outside this window.


The earliest signs often suggest that your pet has something caught in its throat or the back legs are not working properly. Other commonly noticed changes are vomiting, heavy breathing with a grunt and alteration to your pet's vocal sounds. While signs vary from patient to patient the usual course is a progressive paralysis with subsequent loss of use of back and front legs. Some animals, especially cats, may become distressed, anxious and confused. Eventually there is an inability to breathe in enough oxygen as the lungs develop congestion and chest muscles become paralysed. When animals are fully paralysed the chances of saving them are greatly reduced.
If you think your pet has a tick, do not give anything by mouth. Contact a veterinary surgeon urgently, keep your pet cool and as calm as possible. Remove the tick immediately and take your dog or cat to the vet.


Your veterinary surgeon will consider a possible tick case as an emergency and arrange for a definite diagnosis to be made as soon as possible. It may be necessary for your pet's coat to be clipped off to find the tick or the crater left in the skin where a tick was attached.

While antiserum and hospitalisation involve some expense both are nearly always essential if you want to ensure your pet has the best chance of survival. Hospitalisation is very important, as there are often serious complications that require assessment and other medications, which can only be given by injection.
 In severe / high risk cases animals will be transported to our After Hours Service for continuous overnight monitoring . This can add quite a bit of additional expense to a case so it is not done as a routine, only when the vet in charge deems it necessary. This will be communicated to a client in advance of any transfer.


Some animals survive without treatment. Unfortunately some animals will die despite being given all the appropriate treatment. Because the chances of successful treatment decrease as the symptoms progress and there is no way of telling which animals will survive without treatment, the only way to ensure your pet has the best chance of survival is to seek early veterinary treatment.


Daily searching of your pet by thoroughly feeling with the finger tips and removing ticks before they inject toxic levels of poison is the safest way to prevent tick paralysis. Be sure to remove the collar and thoroughly check the head, neck and shoulders as 90% of the ticks will be found in this area.


There is no vaccination available against the paralysis tick. Some animals develop a natural immunity after exposure to several ticks. The antiserum is made by collecting blood from dogs kept immune by controlled exposure to ticks. It is expensive because there is no way to manufacture it chemically.

Keeping your beloved pets safe this summer….