Recovery after tick paralysis

Dogs and cats recovering from tick poisoning need special care.

Though we are happy to release them from hospital, complete recovery can take up to a further 2 weeks, and certain factors need to be addressed. Return to normality of all functions including breathing, strength, blinking of eyes and sound of voice should all improve steadily, day by day.

Firstly, it is important to keep your pet quiet for some days. There have been cases that have gone home and suddenly died due to stress and overexertion.

Secondly, great care must be taken with food and water. We recommend that you closely observe your animal eating and drinking, as the muscles used for swallowing may still be affected from the paralysis. We advise that you feed your pet smaller meals on a more frequent basis to reduce the chance of vomiting. 

Sometimes animals can suffer conjunctivitis and/or pharyngitis/bronchitis. Excessive eye or nasal discharge will need to be treated if it arises. Occasionally animals lose their ability to blink due to localised paralysis, if the tick was found near or around the eyes. If this occurs, the eyes need to be kept lubricated and the vet may prescribe eye medication for you to take home for your pet.

Most importantly, prevention of further tick poisoning is vital, as dogs and cats are more vulnerable to the poison as they are recovering from the current episode.

The anti-toxin serum we use is only effective for the case being treated. It gives no lasting protection.

Ticks can occur right throughout the year, but particularly in spring and summer, especially after periods of rain.

Hence all measures like searching for ticks on your pet daily and the use of tick prevention products, are the best methods of preventing ticks.

The preventative products we recommend are Nexgard, Bravecto and Simparica for dogs, and for cats, Bravecto spot on and Revolution Plus. The use of veterinary recommended tick collars (Scalibor, Seresto), are also options.