Tick Paralysis

Tick paralysis is a serious condition that can affect our pets during tick season. Tick paralysis is caused by a neurotoxin found in the saliva of some female ticks (Rocky Mountain wood tick or commonly called the wood tick). Not all female ticks carry the toxin, and not all pets develop paralysis after being bitten. The paralysis develops approximately 5 to 9 days after the tick attaches to the host (your pet). Hind limb weakness is the first sign of tick paralysis; this can then progress to forelimb weakness, then full paralysis. If left untreated, cranial nerves can be affected causing facial weakness, voice changes, trouble swallowing and decreased muscle tone. In very severe cases the respiratory muscles become paralyzed which can result in death.

Diagnosis is based on the clinical signs, finding a tick on the patient and rapid resolution of paralysis after the tick is removed. This disease can be confused with several other diseases so it is very important to visit your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms. Prognosis is very good provided the entire tick, including the mouthpiece, is removed.

Here at the Kamloops Veterinary Clinic, we see between 2 to 5 cases of tick paralysis per year. Prevention is the best treatment. There are several products available to keep you and your pet safe during tick season. For more information, please call the clinic to discuss what the best option is for your pet.

Written by Kamloops Veterinary Clinic 

Our beautiful 7 year old black Lab (ROCKY) came to this clinic a little over one week ago because he…

Stacey Bruno

Always super friendly and they always do such a great job whether it's something simple or a major surgery. Your…

Paula Cousins

Very accommodating and knowledgeable staff. My dog is not the most pleasant going in and they always find a way…

Bryce Parks

Awesome experience here. I was very worried about bringing my senior cat to the vet as he is pretty skittish…

Nic 83

wide - blue short - blue



What You Need to Know About Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection, that can be caused by a variety of different viruses and bacteria. The kennel cough vaccine available is able to protect against one of the most common sources of kennel cough, but just like with our human influenza vaccine, it cannot cover every strain.

Read More
See All Articles