Tick Paralysis

Tick Paralysis can be a common case depending on the areas people visit with their pets. There are a number of types of ticks, some of which are a nuisance such as the bush tick, right through to Paralysis Tick which causes many fatalities each year.  Whilst more common in dogs than cats (probably due to grooming habits), cats can still be affected. Prevention is the key or if your pet is unfortunate enough to be affected, very prompt Veterinary attention is required.


There are many excellent products available for prevention and control of ticks on dogs and cats. We recommend using a tick prevention product year round and also recommend daily tick searches if you and your pet live in an area where ticks are a problem.

Signs of Tick Paralysis

  • Weak or collapsing in the hindquarters
  • Not able to or reluctant to stand
  • Coughing, retching, vomiting
  • A change in breathing pattern
  • Change of voice
  • Noisy breathing
  • Droopy eyelid or dilated pupil (particularly if the tick is attached near the eye)

What to do if you find a tick?

  • Remove the tick/s.
  • If showing any of the above signs, contact the vet clinic and transport to the Vet ASAP.
  • Bring the tick in a jar for identification.
  • Even if your pet is not showing obvious signs of tick paralysis, it is still very important they have a health check with your veterinarian so they can be fully assessed. The recommendation for each pet will then depend on their assessment but may include monitoring at home, monitoring in the vet clinic or treatment for tick paralysis even if signs are mild.
  • Please be aware, signs of paralysis can still develop over at least the next 24 hours after a tick has been removed. It is also essential to do thorough repeated tick searches as often there will be more than one tick present.