Mmmmm, Fido has fleas!

When was the last time you checked your cat or dog for fleas and ticks? Ticks and fleas can cause severe illness in pets {and sometimes death}. 

Fleas and ticks in Brisbane are an excellent example of the old saying, ‘Big things come in small packages.’ They may be small, but they are one of the most dangerous parasites arriving at Brisbane Pet Resorts! 

When Do I Need To Worry About Fleas And Ticks? 

While tick-borne diseases are the norm throughout Brisbane and the Queensland coast, ticks and fleas are common all year round, being especially active in warmer, humid months after rain. Brisbane’s climate is ideal for ticks and fleas as the humidity required for them to progress through their life-cycle is at optimal levels. Fleas and ticks in Brisbane will be a significant concern in 2022. 

The unusual weather contributes to higher than average numbers of ticks and fleas in Brisbane. After a warm(ish) winter followed by lots of rain, ticks and fleas are loving life! Brisbane pet resorts and pet owners will need to remain vigilant. 

Ensure that you keep up with pet tick and flea treatment by checking them daily. Upon arriving at any pet resort and every interaction throughout the stay, you can expect a thorough check of your dog or cat. 

Checking For Ticks And Fleas

When checking for Brown Dog Ticks, Cattle Ticks or Paralysis Ticks, run your hand over the cat, kitten, dog or puppy’s body and feel for unusual bumps. Check paw pads, under the collar, between toes, even in the gum line and inside their ears. 

When checking for fleas, run your hand over the body and feel for unusual clumps of hair. Flea-dirt clumps easily and sticks to the fur and skin of a cat, kitten, dog or puppy. Flea dirt looks like flecks of black pepper. In contrast, flea eggs resemble small oval grains of sand or salt. They can be bright white, off white, or translucent. 

Removal Of Ticks

If you find a tick on your pet, it is best to remove it as quickly as possible. Use tweezers, a tick removal system, or visit your local vet. Then monitor for at least 24 hours for symptoms of paralysis. 

How To Identify Ticks And Fleas

An unsteady staggering gait is the most well-known sign; however, some cats and dogs do not show typical hind limb paralysis. A dry or choking cough, gurgling, or even a change in the animal’s bark or meow may be early symptoms of tick toxicity. If you see any of these symptoms, contact your vet and search your pet thoroughly. In comparison, you will generally spot flea dirt or eggs before noticing excessive signs like scratching or inflamed skin conditions. Your pet will generally avoid any adverse symptoms if you check daily and treat fleas and ticks regularly. 


Use Nexgard, Bravecto, tick collars, shampoos and rinses designed to prevent fleas and ticks. 

Dr Carla, from Queensland, says; For dogs, I always recommend one of the newer oral chews such as Simparica Trio or The Big 5 as they work so effectively against paralysis ticks. For cats, I recommend the new Bravecto Plus spot-on tubes.

Some dog treatments are poisonous for cats, so if you are worried about the confusing dog and cat medications, consider the recently released Bravecto spot-on, available for cats and dogs.

Old Wives Tales

My Grandma always said I needed to clap when washing my pets to prevent fleas. According to Grandma, the flea egg breaks when it experiences a loud sound like thunder or clapping. So before and after storms, she would entice her very calm dachshund crossbreeds (long-haired sausage dogs x who knows) into the laundry sink with a homemade dog treat she had devised to distract them. Grandma could be heard singing, clapping and scrubbing her well-loved puppies, and the dogs couldn’t have loved their pamper sessions more. 

It is important to note that this is an old wives tale, and while Grandma never had fleas or ticks, there is no science (that I can find) to back this theory up. Also, that this only worked after Grandma had extensively desensitised the dogs to the washing experience and clapping too! Do not try this or any old wives tales on your pet at home – without appropriate training. 

Have you heard any old wives tales about keeping dogs and cats healthy?

* As always, do your research, introduce changes to medicine, diet, training or lifestyle slowly. Be careful with pets with sensitivities. Stay up-to-date and be vigilant. Use trusted and reputable pet resorts and industry professionals. Talk to your vet about additional and alternative treatments and defences suitable for your own unique experience. Finally – enjoy time with your pet; they are precious and oh, so much fun! 

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