Like fleas, ticks are ectoparasites. They live on the skin surface of a ‘host’ and feed on their blood. The tick species in Australia that usually attack dogs and cats include the paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus), brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) and bush tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis). Paralysis ticks are deadly because they inject a paralysing toxin as they feed. This affects a dog’s muscles, including those that allow them to breathe. As many as 100,000 domestic animals annually are affected by the paralysis tick, with up to 10,000 receiving veterinary clinic treatment. Tick paralysis can also affect humans, especially children.