Unfortunately, even in the winter months, ticks are a common threat to animal wellness. Some of the many diseases carried by ticks are harder to spot than others. The challenges and symptoms of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are well documented, but what about tick paralysis? Tick paralysis, or tick-bite paralysis, can be just as devastating to your dog or cat as any other tick-borne disease.
According to PetMD, tick paralysis is caused by a powerful toxin released by the tick into your pet's blood. This toxin directly attacks the nervous system, causing a wide variety of symptoms that should be carefully monitored.
Noticing the symptoms
The symptoms can usually be seen around six to nine days after the tick has been attached to the skin. Just as the name suggests, tick paralysis can lead to partial loss of muscle movement and, in advanced stages, complete loss of muscle control. Other common symptoms include vomiting, regurgitation, unsteadiness, labored breathing and poor reflexes. If left untreated long enough, tick paralysis can result in the pet's death.
While multiple ticks on your pet's fur increases the chance of tick paralysis, one bite is enough to cause these symptoms. The Merck Veterinary Manual suggested that, even after the tick is removed, the animal should be placed in a quiet, dark and stress-free area to rest for the immediate period after the tick is removed.
Taking preventative measures
Tick paralysis is a very serious danger that requires professional veterinary care most of the time. The best way to avoid this, of course, is making sure your dog or cat doesn't get a tick in the first place. While it's impossible to be 100-percent sure that your pet will go tick-free, there are products to give your dog or cat the best odds in the year-round battle against ticks and fleas.
The water-resistant Hartz® UltraGuard Plus™ Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs kills and repels fleas and ticks and prevents flea eggs for up to seven months, which prevents reinfestation by disturbing the flea life cycle.
Along with using tick and flea repellant products, it's prudent to use a fine-tooth comb to check your dog or cat for fleas and ticks so the removal of the pests can happen as soon as possible.
This content is provided by the flea and tick experts at Hartz. We believe in offering safe, effective and affordable parasite prevention for every dog and cat.