Creepy Summer Risks

Dogs, Pets, Summer Pets

Protect your pet from Ticks and Heartworm this summer season.

Summer is here and the threat of paralysis ticks & heartworm is on the rise. These parasites are not only uncomfortable for your pet, but if left untreated can cause very serious health problems and can be potentially fatal. Get to know the parasites that your pet is at risk from and learn how to properly protect them.

What types of ticks are common in Australia?

Check out below that will help you in identifying the Paralysis tick from other tick types commonly found on dogs in Australia.

Paralysis Tick

Cattle Tick

Bush Tick

Brown Dog Tick

Common signs of Tick Paralysis:


If your pet is a little unsteady or wobbly in the legs, it could be a sign of Tick Paralysis.


Dogs and cats will vomit from time to time but if you notice that your pet is vomiting more than a couple times a day – visit your Fur Life Vet immediately.


If the pitch or volume of your pet’s voice is altered in a significant way, this could also point to a tick.


Dogs will often pant heavily if they are affected by a Paralysis Tick. Listen for loud breathing and coughing.

Where to find ticks in your pet.

If ticks are attached near the eyes they can make the eyelids paralysed and stop blinking which can cause eyes to dry out and become damaged. Because the tick toxin also causes weakness and dilation to the food pipe, affected dogs and cats may retch and regurgitate their food, water or just frothy fluid. One serious complication of this is aspiration of fluid or food into the lungs which causes pneumonia.

Affected dogs and cats also may have difficulty swallowing which can cause fluid to build up in the mouth and throat which can make them choke. Tick paralysis also often causes difficulty breathing. If the paralysis becomes too advanced and the muscles involved with breathing become too weak, the dog or cat may not be able to breath sufficiently or at all.

Tick paralysis is progressive and potentially fatal.
Call into our clinic to talk to our reception staff about the best tick prevention for your pets today. Prevention is better than a cure.

Check out the infographic below, which will help you find those pesky little creatures.


What is heartworm?

As the name suggests, Heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly disease characterised by large, parasitic worms.
In dogs, adult Heartworm can grow up to 30cm in length, blocking the arteries leading to the lungs and infesting the heart. As a result, the heart is forced to pump extra hard to keep blood flowing, which can lead to heart failure. The disease can also severely damage other parts of the body, such as the liver and kidneys. It affects many types of animals, including domestic and feral dogs and cats, dingoes, foxes and ferrets.

How do dogs get heartworm?

Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes. Just one bite could infect your pet. At least 60 species of mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease – when they bite an infected animal, they suck blood filled with infant worms, which then develop inside the mosquito. When an infected mosquito bites another animal, your dog, it infects the animal with Heartworm larvae that develop and grow inside the dog eventually reaching the heart and lungs.

What is heartworm?

Just one mosquito bite is all it takes to infect your pet, even if Heartworm doesn’t seem to be a problem in your local area. Heartworm is more common in warmer climates but it has spread to all states in Australia.
If a mosquito bites an infected animal, then bites your pet, your pet is at risk of infection and death. As each new animal gets infected, the risk of Heartworm grows.

What can I do to protect my dog from heartworm?

Rather than risk heartworm infection and it’s traumatising treatment, it is highly recommended to protect your pet with preventative treatment.

A simple annual injection can protect your dog from Heartworm.

Yes monthly treatments are available however a recent study has shown that 40% of dogs that tested positive for Heartworm were actually on an owner given monthly treatment. The reason? It’s just too easy to forget a dose and it only takes one missed dose to leave your dog unprotected and vulnerable. For that reason we recommend dogs receive an annual injection.

What are the signs of Heartworm?

You usually don't see any symptoms until the infection has advanced however common symptoms are:

 a dry, chronic cough
• lethargy, fainting
• weight loss
• breathing problems
• difficulty with exercise
• ascites (where the abdomen swells up due to fluid build-up because the heart cannot pump normally)

What happens if my dog gets heartworm?

Your Fur Life Vet can test for heartworm in dogs however blood tests will not detect infection until the worms have matured into adults, about six months after the initial infection.


Can heartworm be treated?

It’s possible to treat heartworm in dogs, provided the disease has not already caused significant damage to the major organs. If you have to treat heartworm, your dog will require care for quite some time. Treatment is expensive and difficult, often requires hospitalisation, and may require harsh drugs to kill the adult heartworms. Some dogs don’t survive the process. After treatment, your dog may remain at risk due to dead worms blocking blood flow through the lungs.

How to enter

Simply share a photo on your Facebook page of your dog rugged up for winter or enjoying the winter sunshine and use the hashtag relevant to your state.

What you can win

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined prize. Each prize includes a winter pet pack to the value of $100.

Click on your state to reveal the hashtag you need to use to enter!

QLD Residents

Share a photo of your dog enjoying the winter sunshine or snoozing in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetQLD

VIC Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetVIC

NSW Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetNSW

TAS Residents

Share a photo of your dog rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes and tag #furlifevetTAS

Terms & Conditions

Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these conditions. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these conditions. Entries must comply with these conditions to be valid.

Entry is open to Australian residents that meet the competition requirements outlined below during the Competition period 1 June 2022 – 31 August 2022. Employees and their immediate families of the Promoter and its agencies associated with this competition are ineligible to enter.

To enter, each entrant must, during the Entry Period, upload a photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile) and use the hashtag corresponding to the state they are in (e.g. #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS).

Winner of the competition will be determined by:

  1. Appropriate photo uploaded (photo of their pet rugged up for winter or snoozing warm inside in their favourite winter clothes to social media (on their personal profile)
  2. Relevant hashtag used (state residing in: #furlifevetVIC, #furlifevetNSW, #furlifevetQLD, #furlifevetTAS)
  3. Number of likes (photo with highest number of likes at end of competition period with all other criteria completed will win)

The competition will close for entries Wednesday, 31 August 2022 at 12:00pm [AEST]. Failure to meet any of the competition requirements will deem entry invalid and will not be eligible to win.

There will be three prizes in total – one for QLD entrants and two prizes for entrants from VIC, NSW and TAS combined.


Competition requirements:

Entrants must be a current client of a participating Apiam/Fur Life Vet clinic.

Entries must be received by the Promoter during the Entry Period. Entries received after 12:00pm [AEST] 31 August 2022 not be accepted.

The competition commences at 00:01 [AEST] on 01/06/2022 and closes at 12:00 [AEDT] 31/08/2022.

Queensland prize includes a pet pack to the value of $100.00.

Victorian, New South Wales, and Tasmanian prize includes two separate pet packs to the value of $100.00.

All taxes (excluding GST) which may be payable as a consequence of receiving a prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

The Prize is not transferable and is not redeemable for cash.

The Promoter assumes no responsibility for any failure to receive an entry or for inaccurate information or for any loss, damage or injury as a result of technical or telecommunications problems, including security breaches. If such problems arise, then the Promoter may modify, cancel, terminate or suspend the competition.

If the prize becomes unavailable for reasons beyond the Promoter’s control, the Promoter may substitute a prize of equal or greater value.

The winner will be notified by email on or by 10/09/2022.

Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, images submitted, pets name, comment, and/or voice in the event that they are a winner in any media for an unlimited period of time without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this competition (including any outcome), as well as any other communications outside of this competition, and/or promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter. If you are not willing for these uses or disclosures to occur you cannot participate in the competition.

Further, entrants agree that the Promoter has an unrestricted, irrevocable, transferable, divisible right and licence to use and modify their entry for the purposes of the Promoter’s business including for promotional purposes without the payment of any further fee or compensation.

If requested by the Promoter, the entrant agrees to sign any further documentation required by the Promoter to give effect to this arrangement. To the extent permitted by law, entrants unconditionally and irrevocably consent to any act or omission that would otherwise infringe any moral rights in their entry. Entries remain the property of the Promoter. Details from entries will be collected and used for the purposes of conducting this competition (which may include disclosure to third parties for the purpose of processing and conducting the competition) and for promotional purposes surrounding this competition. By entering this competition entrants consent to the use of their information as described and agree that the Promoter may use this information, or disclose it to other organisations that may use it, in any media for future promotional purposes without any further reference or payment to the entrant.

By entering this competition, entrants consent for the Promoter to use entrant’s name, email address, phone number which entrants submitted to enter for the purposes of administering and operating the competition. Entry is conditional on the Promoter acquiring the aforementioned information. All personal information collected by the Promoter will be handled by the Promoter in accordance with the Promoter’s privacy policy (PRIVACY) Entrants have the right to access their personal information, request correction of any errors and/or obtain a copy of the Promoter’s privacy policy by contacting getvetchecked@furlifevet.com.au.

The Promoter is Apiam Animal Health Pty Limited (ACN: 604 961 024) at 27-33 Piper Lane East Bendigo, 3550, Victoria, Australia.

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