Ticks and Lyme Disease in Dogs: Transmission and Symptoms


Dogs usually develop symptoms within 2-7 days of being inoculated by a tick. Since tick paralysis causes an ascending paralysis, the rear limbs are initially affected. At first the animal may appear weak or unsteady because their rear limbs are weakened. The symptoms quickly progress to paralysis (inability to move) and the involvement spreads to the trunk, upper extremities, and head. Animals can die of respiratory arrest if the diaphragm becomes involved.


The diagnosis of tick paralysis is made if the animal shows the symptoms and an attached tick is found. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination since ticks can hide in your pet’s coat.


Since the paralysis is caused by the release of the neurotoxin from the tick, the primary treatment is to promptly remove the tick. Removal can be done mechanically by pulling off the tick with forceps or using a topical insecticide to kill the tick. Once the tick is removed most animals begin to recover their muscle strength within hours—followed by complete resolution within 3 days. If an animal is suffering from respiratory distress, supportive measures such as supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation are necessary until the effects of the neurotoxin fades.


While it's rare, tick paralysis can be a deadly condition. The best way to prevent tick paralysis is to take preventative actions. If you live in an endemic area for ticks, be sure your pet is on tick preventatives. Check your pet for ticks on a daily basis, and especially after hiking in wooded areas or heavily infested areas. Finally, keep your landscaping maintained to make them less inviting for ticks.

treatment for ticks in dogs | Blog | Carlson Animal Hospital, Oak Park

For the outside: or should be applied to grassy and bushy areas near the house or kennel, the edges of lawns and gardens, under porches, and other areas where the dog travels or spends time. It is usually not necessary to treat the entire yard. One way to determine the extent and locations of tick presence is by using a white cloth such as a pillow case. Drag it along the grass, and brush it up onto foliage. Stop to check the presence of the ticks. Shrubbery up to a height of 2-3 feet should be sprayed. Nonchemical methods of treatment include keeping the grass mowed, removal of bushy areas and fencing to keep deer away.

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Pack of 6, for dogs up to 21-55 lbs. Topical prevention and treatment of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, biting flies and lice for monthly use on dogs and puppies. Often, a tick treatment is used even if ticks are not found. Use an approved insecticide and/or mechanically remove all visible ticks. When the signs have progressed to a great degree, treatment to counter respiratory distress, fluid therapy to deal with dehydration, and possibly antiserum may be necessary to save the dog's life.

Tick control for dogs - Dogtime

Topical Treatments (applied to your dog’s skin with the product’s built-in applicator) are commonly applied monthly and are popular because they are effective at killing fleas and ticks and can also be purchased in formulas that repel mosquitos and control flea development.

Flea & Tick Control for Dogs | PetSmart