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Cattle - Paralysis Tick (Ixodes Holycyclus)

The Paralysis tick can cause signs in young animals and animals that are newly introduced to this area from an area that does not have the Paralysis tick. Animals that are affected may initially appear slow, and calves may stop feeding. Most animals start with weakness in the hindlegs, with the paralysis quickly affecting the animals front legs and possibly their breathing muscles. The Paralysis tick can be fatal in calves and non immune older cattle.


Animals affected can be treated with Tick Anti-serum. You will need to phone and contact us to organise treatment of animals. Animals are best treated earlier rather than later. The serum can only neutralise the toxin that has not attached to the nerve endings, so the longer you leave it the more toxin binds to the nerve endings and their is a lower chance of having a successful outcome. Tick serum can be administered intramuscular by the farmer or intravenously by a veterinarian. Secondary nursing and ensuring the animal is comfortable with adequate shade and bedding is also important. 


There are a series of sprays, and there are Ear tags(Y Tex Python Insecticidal ear tags). Most sprays will only last 7-10days, so you must be diligent with your applications. You should always closely follow the directions by the manufacturers. The paralysis tick can be a particularly difficult tick to kill, so you always need to read the label and ensure the product you are using is registered to kill the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus)

The sprays that you may want to consider using are:

  • Amitraz EC
  • Taktic EC
  • Coopers Amitik EC
  • Coopers Amitik
  • Taktic WP
  • Barricade ‘S’
  • Coopers Blockade ‘S’
  • Bayticol Cattle Dip and Spray

You can also reduce the likelihood of having an animal affected by Paralysis ticks by having paddocks that you use with very young calves. These paddocks are best kept regularly slashed and should have minimal scrub in them. Native wildlife can be carriers of the paralysis tick, so areas where Bandicoots, possums, etc like to live should be used for older cattle that are more likely to be immune.

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