Tick Paralysis story

Tick Fever…. Something to know if you have dogs

This past Saturday a.m., my 5 year old Tibbie “Tami” was paralyzed in her rear legs when she woke up. They just were collapsed under her. I rushed her to the vet & he was able to get deep pain response from both back feet,
though 1 leg just dangled & showed no reflexes.

She was knuckling over on both rear feet & could not place them flat on the floor. She was alert & without signs of pain. Vet examined her & could find no injuries or sensitive areas & thought it was a back injury & she was put on dexamethezone 2 x daily & crate rest.

There was no improvement Saturday or Sunday and she had peed in her crate & was soaked.  I gave her a quick bath & put fans on her to dry her. Sunday nite she had a little response in her rear legs, but could not walk.

Monday morning she stood & took 2 steps before her rear legs collapsed. She made steady improvement  & by Monday night walked about 10 feet in the yard, peed, walked a couple more feet & had a BM.
I thought she was on the mend. Tuesday morning her rear was as bad as it had been on Saturday.

She started showing weakness on her front legs & between Noon & 2:00 pm her front legs became paralyzed & she started having heart arythmias.
She began drooling on the ride to the vet office.The vet did back and neck  Xrays = everything was normal.
He drew blood & while we were waiting for the results he told me he didn’t know what was wrong.

By this time it was 5:00 pm.
The bloodwork showed a high white count, pointing to infection. Vet was petting her & feeling her all over & couldn’t understand why she was not in pain anywhere.

He found an engorged tick under her ear – its color was identical to her coat. Then the AH-HA moment – tick paralysis!

In his over 30 years practicing, he had only seen 2 cases. His other vet who was working with him has been a vet for
about 10 years & had never seen a case.

He removed the tick, put her on Amoxicillin 2 x daily & said she should be sitting up by evening & recover.

The tick can have a neurotoxin that is released while feeding that causes this.  It can lead to respiratory failure & even death! … different sources say in the U.S. that death rates are 5% or 10-12%.

By around 8:00 pm Tami was improving in the front legs & could lay upright on her front. She steadily improved overnight & could walk wobbly by Wednesday morning. The vet predicts a full recovery.

I don’t think she would have made it through the night without that tick being removed.

Permission to crosspost. I will be sending this to all the Groups I
am on as I can’t remember this ever being mentioned.

Marianne Minks
Zen Tao Tibetan Spaniels

Thanks to Marianne Minks, some editing for style.