2019 Flea & Tick Survival Guide

Tick Paralysis in Dogs

5 min read



In case of severe disease, your dog will need to be hospitalized for intensive care and nursing support. Respiratory paralysis is an emergency and needs immediate veterinary medical attention.


Identifying and detaching the ticks is the first step to preventing the further release of toxins and aggravating the symptoms. Even if no ticks are found, an insecticidal bath may be given to your dog to kill any ticks that may be hidden in the folds of the skin. In some cases, this is the only treatment required and the dog will soon start showing signs of recovery. However, in cases with respiratory paralysis, oxygen supplementation or some other form of artificial ventilation will be required to keep the dog breathing.


If the dog is dehydrated, intravenous fluids will be given, along with medications that can be used to counter the effects of the toxins on the nervous system, and to relax the muscles enough so that the dog can breathe.


Living and Management


For the best recovery, you will want to keep your dog in a quiet, cool environment. The neurotoxin is temperature sensitive. Physical activity should also be temporarily avoided, as activity can increase body temperature. Encourage your dog to relax as much as possible until a full recovery.


Some affected animals have problems with vomiting and loss of appetite and are unable to eat. In such cases, food should not be offered until these symptoms are properly managed. Your veterinarian will instruct you on the type of food supplements that should be fed to your dog, and the method you should use to feed your dog (which can be by syringe or tube, for example). Good home nursing care is important for a prompt and full recovery.


During hospitalization, a daily neurological assessment of your dog will be taken. The overall prognosis largely depends on the specie of tick that was found to have infested your dog, but as with any illness, your dog's recovery may also rest on its health condition and age previous to the tick acquired illness. In some cases, with particularly toxic reactions, death can occur even with the best treatment.