CHECK-UP TIME: Simon Lofthouse with his 9-year-old Labrador Wilbur at the Gympie vets.
CHECK-UP TIME: Simon Lofthouse with his 9-year-old Labrador Wilbur at the Gympie vets. Philippe Coquerand

The reason tick poisonings have risen 233% in Gympie region

GYMPIE vets are concerned this could be the worst year for ticks in more than five years after a 233 per cent increase from the same time last year.

Last July, Gympie Veterinary Services treated six animals for ticks, compared to the last month when more than 20 animals were treated.

 

Noosa bandicoots are lending a helping hand.

Photo Contributed
Bandicoots have been associated with a large increase to ticks within the Gympie region. Contributed

With the region facing a dry spell, the tick rise is being linked to an increase in bandicoots.

Gympie Veterinarian Shannon Coyne said the clinic had had an unusual start to the season.

"Our peak time is generally from July and runs through until Christmas," Dr Coyne said.

"Since July up until now in August, we have noticed a significant rise of ticks than this point in time two years ago.

"It seems to be just seasonal, it's related to the number of bandicoots around, so if there's plenty of bandicoots, there's plenty of ticks.

"Conditions must be good for bandicoots."

Dr Coyne said the bandicoots had a "boom and bust cycle."

He advised pet owners to take the problem seriously and if in doubt, check with a vet.

"Definitely vigilance and treatment early: if you find them early, survival rates are a lot better," he said.

"I'd urge everyone to get their animals checked.

"There's really good tick control products available now and they're the best pest insurance anyone can get in our area.

"Treated dogs have a survival rate of 90 per cent, so 10 per cent with treatment can still die.

"Treatment can cost thousands for a complicated case."

Glastonbury wildlife carer Paula Rowlands said it was not just bandicoots that brought in ticks.

"Ticks are associated with quite a lot of animals such as cattle, echidnas, kangaroos and bandicoots," Ms Rowlands said.

 

Paula Rowlands holding a young, hand sized, ringtail possum well on the way to recovery and release.
Paula Rowlands holding a young, hand sized, ringtail possum well on the way to recovery and release.

"As far as I'm concerned bandicoots are not a problem.

"After all the frost we've had, you'd think ticks would be dead but I'm always finding them."

A Gympie Regional Council spokesman said bandicoots haven't been reported as a problem.