Paralysis tick in dogs is a rare but serious condition caused by a neurotoxin in the saliva of some female ticks.
This neurotoxin causes paralysis, which begins in the lower extremities of the dog and ‘climbs’ into the upper extremities of the body.
This type of paralysis is called ‘ascending paralysis’. Symptoms usually begin two to seven days after the tick is attached.
Signs of tick paralysis in dogs
- Instability and / or weakness in their back
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heart rate
- Poor reactions (or complete absence)
- Student Expansion
- Excessive drooling
- Trouble eating
The main concern for pet owners is the paralysis tick in dogs (Ixodes holocyclus) because it can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment.
Stages of tick paralysis in dogs
The 1-5 stage scale of tick paralysis is used to describe the extent to which tick toxin affects an animal:
- Mild from stage 1, usually appearing as “motion” or “weakness” in the hind limbs, the dog may have changed bark.
- Stage 2 hind limb is paralyzed, the animal can sit on its front legs, but not stand on its back.
- Stage 3 Ascending paralysis affects the front legs and at this stage the animal can lie on its chest, but is unable to hold itself with the front or back limbs.
- Stage 4 The animal can only lie on its side, cannot hold itself or lie on its chest, and suffers from noticeable breathing difficulties / increased effort.
- Stage 5 causes respiratory failure and death is imminent
Paralysis ticks occur naturally in some geographical areas (mainly off the coast areas in any country), which can be associated with pets visiting these areas during the warmer months, especially if they are allowed to run through the scrub.
Ticks can return with you or neighbors in cars, rugs, towels or plants.
If a tick is noticed on a pet that does not show signs of tick paralysis, remove the tick immediately.
To do this, grasp tightly where the tick attaches to your pet’s skin and pull it aside. A dying tick can inject its powerful toxin into your pet’s body, so it is best to avoid killing the tick without proper knowledge in handling it.
If you do not confidant in removing the tick, please call vet as early as possible to remove it.
Keep your pet cool and quiet after the tick has been removed, while keeping a close watch for 24 hours.
If your pet starts to show any signs of tick paralysis, such as
- Difficulty breathing or altered bark
Seek immediate veterinary attention as this is a true veterinary emergency.
If your pet shows any of the above signs, do not give food or water as tick-affected dogs may inadvertently suck.
Treatment for Paralysis Tick in Dogs
Tick paralysis treatment involves searching and removing all ticks. use a good tick-removing manual tool for this operation.
Get a Metal Tool kit as shown above for long life and can be reusable.
This may include the use of drugs to completely clipping the animal and/or kill the remaining ticks.
Tick antiserum is injected to fight the toxin and supportive care is provided during recovery. It is very expensive compared to how much it initially costs to use tick prevention.
However, tick prevention is not 100% effective and should always be used with daily searches of your pet.
Do not stop searching for your pet after you return from tick affected areas but should continue for at least 7 days after returning home.
Use your fingers to feel the whole body, especially under the collar, on the face and on the front of your pet. Do not forget to carefully inspect between the toes, under the lips and in the ears.
Flies are most often seen during the warmer months but throughout the winter we keep our homes neat and warm and see flies throughout the year.
Only a small fraction of the adult flea population lives on your pet.
Flies lay eggs and larvae in the environment and can live up to a year, so treating your animal not only directly for flies but also polluting the environment.
Wash your pet’s bed using the hottest bicycle and vacuum / clean carpets regularly.
Flies will jump on your pet only to feed and then jump again. Dogs and cats can react to flea saliva, resulting in a skin condition called flea allergic dermatitis or FAD.
FAD treatment is complex and a veterinary consultation is recommended.
Some signs that your pet may have flies
Scratching, biting and hair falling, especially at the base of the tail and rump
You can see flies (especially above the rump and in the groin area)
Flies are hard to find, but flea dirt is very easy to check.
Moisten the cotton ball, part it into your pet’s fur, and place the cotton ball on the skin above the rump.
If the cotton ball has stains of black marks surrounded by a red spot, it could be flea dirt and indicate that your pet has flies.