A new year, a drama and a new vlog

Happy new year dear readers! 

We have had a few weeks of good summer rain now. The creeks are flowing beautifully, and everything is growing before our eyes. And the Cicadas are deafening. The cacophony of birds that usually sing and call out in the mornings is quieter than usual. I’m not sure if they have gotten fat from feasting on cicadas and all the other insects that seem to have come out with the rains or if the cicadas have given them a headache and so they can't be bothered singing at the moment. 

I have been away from the blog longer then I intended. I got caught up with the goings-on of a busy young family and everyone being home for school holidays.  Which is wonderful but it always takes a few weeks to shake down into some kind of rhythm. Well, for me anyway.  

However, I have been working on our second vlog which is now up on YouTube. I apologise for the sound quality, there is no escape from the cicadas here and the mic has picked them up over me. I do hope you can muddle through with me while I learn the ropes and next vlog I will tweak a few things and see if that helps. Also, Grant has promised me he will be in the next one, so there is that. He is rather camera shy. If you want to watch it you can find HERE. If you could take a moment to like, subscribe or share it will greatly help the algorithm to recognise my little channel to suggest it to others. 

Along with the explosion of cicada numbers, its also been a terrible year for ticks here. A few months ago long time readers will remember we lost dear Ronnie, our tan and white border collie to ticks. We routinely treat our dogs for ticks but with the arrival of Elsie their cover had lapsed a little and despite treatment, Ronnie didn’t make it. We were utterly devastated. Grant was hit especially hard by the loss of his best mate, so I went on a search and I found him Tucker. A beautiful failed farm dog who is an utter delight. 

All our dogs continue to be treated with Bravecto, but now with multiple alarms on our phones to ensure their treatment never lapses again.  However, despite being well with the treatment window and checking for ticks nightly, a few days ago we woke to find Tucker partially paralysed. 

Tucker sedated and resting at home after tratment. 

Here he is, on the mend but still weak and flat. 

My heart sunk. 

I looked over him again quickly but I couldn’t find anything, so I swiftly bundled everyone into the car and took him to the vets. The vet found two small ticks on his neck I had missed. Because of the treatment they were dying. She told us that even with the treatment the ticks will release a small amount of toxin before they drop off. Normally a dog can process this but seeing as this year is so bad the toxins had built up in Tucker and made him sick.  Fortunately, the tick treatment had stopped the full dose of the toxins being released and with good vet care which included tick anti-serum, antibiotics, IV fluids, antiemetics to stop him vomiting and choking, and sedation to keep him still and calm he is back home and well on the road to recovery. Though we are significantly out of pocket from the experience and he will be flat and weak for a while yet.
Tuk is now spending his days inside and seems to have claimed one of the couches as his own. But he is here, and we are deeply relieved. 

The vets suggested in wet years like this that the chewable tablets are more effective. Though they need to be given every three-months compared to the six-month treatment of the drops. There is also a tick repellant collar available the vet recommended that works in conjunction with the medicated chews. So we have made the switch and hopefully, that will be the last of the ticks we see. I have included a photo of the products we have chosen to use, we are not affiliated with the companies at all. I just wanted to share what has been recommended to us in the hope no one else has to learn the hard way. 

Well that's all from me today, if there is anything you would like to see on the vlog please do let me know and I will see if I can answer your questions!

Much love,


  1. We use the chewable monthly treatments and are pretty happy with their effectiveness, so far. I'm sure our routine would probably change if we had a huge vet bill too though. Re the cicadas, when we lived on a bush block in se qld at the back of the Gold Coast a couple of moves ago, they were just terrible at the height of summer. I had to drive into town often, just to get away from the noise. It's a long day when they start so early and finish so late in the day. I really feel for you.

  2. The vet said in the wet the tablets were more effective so we will stick to them from now on too. We have never tried the monthly doses and I’m not sure how the price compares to the three monthly? I’m glad you are happy with them!

    Thank goodness for the medication though. Loosing dogs to ticks must have been a huge problem pre- bravecto and other medications like it. Mostly I don’t mind the cicadas, I guess I didn’t grow up with them so perhaps that helps? However, if I have a migrane they can be a bit tedious.

  3. I must have missed the post about Ronnie. So sad for you :(. My last dog was a long haired Border Collie and when I lived up that way I tried to bath her once a month in dog shampoo with tea tree in it. She swam in the dam but her undercoat was never wet to the skin so it may have offered her some protection. I also used tablet chew on a monthly basis over Summer. A neighbour used to clip his Tan and white BC working dog each Summer to help keep him cool working cattle and so it was easier to tick check him each night. Dog had almost grown his full coat back by Autumn and was nice and warm , with full coat, when the colder weather arrived in April/May.

  4. Do you have a tick twister? When we had bad ticks in previous wet years, we found it so much easier to use the simple, plastic (usually green) tick twister. Comes out in seconds - head and all, so it doesn't leave toxins behind. When we used tweezers formerly, we'd always get a bit of the head behind and it would inflame from the toxins. So I recommend the right tool to get them out, quickly and efficiently. If you don't already have one, that is. 🙂

    Anyway, I left a few comments in earlier posts, which are probably backing up your moderation folder, lol. That's what happens when I'm late to the party. Sorry about that. It's been a while, but glad to see you and the family well, despite these painful learning curves with animals and the environment.

  5. Hi Chris, Sorry I did miss a couple of your messages. I’m having trouble with inappropriate spam getting through so I have had to turn on comment approval and I also Can’t seem to reply to specific messages from my iPad. Gah! And my lap top has died so I’m muddling through.

    No we don’t have a tick twister, I have not seen them in the shops. I’m keeping my eye out for one.

    1. You might be able to find them at the local vets. I think that's where we got ours from. Our vets recommend tick twisters, over regular tweezers because they take them out quickly and cleanly. You can buy them online too, if you can't find them locally. Just google tick twisters. Anyway, I hope your tech issues resolve. I know it's such a challenge to figure out this stuff myself, lol.


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