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Tick prevention for dogs and cats

Brown dog ticks like these ones can cause big problems for dogs

With the warm humid weather over the wet season, AMRRIC receives many calls asking for advice on treating large tick burdens in remote communities.


What are ticks?

Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of animals (and occasionally humans). Ticks can cause skin irritation, be in large enough numbers make an animal anaemic and in Australia, can occassionally transmit bacterial infections that can affect people, including Queensland Tick Typhus or Q Fever. 

In the Top End, dogs usually get Brown Dog Ticks.

Along the east coast of Australia, animals might also be affected by Paralysis Ticks. When they bite an animal, Paralysis Ticks inject a toxin contained in their saliva, into the blood of the animal. This toxin can cause weakness, paralysis and ultimately death if the animal does not receive veterinary treatment.

Virbac's chart may help you identify different types of ticks:


What can I do to prevent my animals getting ticks? 

1. Ticks like long grass so make sure you keep the grass around your house short.

2. If your animal lives in or visits an area that has Paralysis Ticks, you should check your animals daily for ticks. Run your hands over their skin, feeling for any bumps. Clipping the coat of long haired animals over the tick season can help you to find ticks. Gordon Vet Hospital has a great instructional video on performing a tick search on your pet:

If you find a tick, remove it, being careful not to squeeze the body of the tick as you are pulling it out. You can find more info on tick removal here (the same instructions apply for people and animals):

3. Use a tick preventative product. You can buy any of these products online and have them delivered to your mailing address. Some of these products last for a fortnight or one month, some last even longer. It is vital to follow the instructions on the packet of any of the products. Some of the dog products can be toxic to cats.  Remember that even though these products are excellent, no product is guaranteed to be 100% effective at preventing ticks. Keeping your lawn mown and performing regular tick searches is still important even if your animal is on tick prevention.


Oral Chews

Spot Ons

Tick Collars

Nexgard or Nexgard Spectra





Frontline Plus






Spot Ons


Frontline Plus 


In some communities, there can be so many ticks that they can be seen climbing the walls of houses.  When your community is suffering a tick burden this bad, talk to the Environmental Health team from the Department of Health to get the right treatments to keep you, your family and pets safe.

Ask your local animal management worker or vet for more information about ticks in your area and appropriate preventative products for animals.  For rural and remote Indigenous community enquiries, you can also contact us at AMRRIC for further advice: or 08 8948 1768.


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Ph: 08 8948 1768
Fax: 08 8985 3454              

Mail address
P.O. Box 4829
Darwin NT 0801