Tick Paralysis and a Little Stray Cat Called Shelley
By David Loneragan | Dated April 30, 2013
Meet Shelley, a little stray cat that was found up at Killara High School. She was in a very bad way from tick paralysis. We pulled just a single, large tick off but it was enough to cause all the problems we come to expect from tick poisoning.
The symptoms to watch for are:
- Loss of coordination in the hind legs. This will start with mild signs like slipping on the stairs or being weak to jump into the car.
- Change in voice (or bark if a dog)
- Retching, coughing or vomiting. This again can start mildly and will progress. Not every pet will show all of these signs.
- Loss of appetite. Most pets with tick paralysis will not be interested in food.
- Progressive paralysis to include the forelegs.
- Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing. This is a very important sign as poor breathing is responsible for most deaths associated with tick poisoning.
Shelley was given fluids and supportive care. She was sprayed with Frontline, was kept warm and slowly nursed back to good health. Once she was able to eat again she started eating ravenously and has not looked back since.