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Understanding And Treating Tick Paralysis

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From feeding and grooming to training and exercising, caring for your dog can be overwhelming at times. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough importance on controlling ticks. These small insects can wreak havoc on your dog's physical and emotional well-being, causing discomfort and increasing the risk of serious disease. Tick paralysis is a common disease that occurs after certain species of ticks release neurotoxins into the bloodstream after being attached to your dog for 5 to 7 days; this guide will educate you on the signs and treatment options for tick paralysis, so your dog can receive the help it needs.


Every dog is different, so your dog may show different symptoms than another with the same disease. However, fatigue and numbness in the legs are the most common signs of tick paralysis. The disorder will progressively worsen without treatment. After a few days of showing the first signs, your dog may also struggle moving due to the weakness and numbness in their legs. In most cases, the signs display themselves in the lower portion of your dog's body. Over time, they will spread to their upper portion of the body, causing muscle weakness in the face and tongue.

In severe cases, the paralysis will affect your dog's respiratory system, resulting in difficulty breathing, convulsions, and even death.


If you are noticing one or more of the above signs, visit your veterinarian immediately. After a physical examination of your dog. All ticks will be removed safely and effectively. The veterinarian may remove the ticks manually in addition to applying a topical insecticide to kill any hidden ticks that may still linger on your dog. Surprisingly, your dog may begin to recover immediately after removing the ticks.

If the paralysis has affected your dog's respiratory system, supplemental oxygen may be necessary to comfort your dog through their recovery.

It is important to note that prevention is your best option for fighting tick paralysis. Of course, ridding the outdoors of ticks is not possible, so you will need to focus on tick prevention for your dog.

Apply a topical tick prevention medication to your dog as recommended by your veterinarian. Or, consider giving your dog an oral medication that prevents both ticks and fleas.

Ticks may be small, but they can make a big impact on your dog's health and wellness. To learn more about diagnosing, treating, and preventing tick paralysis, consult your dog's vet today.