Illawarra residents are being urged to check their pets for paralysis ticks every day as the season for the little critters begins.
Tick season runs from August to March, with Australia's east coast home to a large population.
Dr Mark Allison from the Berryhaven Veterinary Group said he treated three or four animals a week for ticks during spring. He recommended people clip back their animal's coats, use tick prevention products and thoroughly check for ticks every day.
"The main prevention is the daily searching," he said.
"Usually about 90 per cent of ticks are found from the shoulders forward and high up between the toes and around the bottom and genitals, where the animals find it difficult to groom themselves."
It's a lesson Mount Ousley man Phil Syer knows all too well. His first Samoyed, Snuggles, died after a paralysis tick lodged itself on the dog's stomach. Though a vet eventually found the offending creature and removed it, Snuggles never recovered.
Mr Syer checks his current pooch, Prince, every day, especially after walks in long grass or under trees.
"You make sure you run your hands through so you can feel any irregular bumps, around their claws and around the tail area, and you make sure that if you go for a walk and they're in the grass or trees, at the end of the walk feel around, pat behind the ears."