Tick bites can make dogs sick in a number of ways, but the most shocking disease that they transmit is called tick paralysis. Some types of ticks carry a toxin in their saliva that disrupts the functioning of a dog’s nervous system after he has been bitten. A dog will begin to show symptoms about a week after a toxin-carrying tick attaches itself.
Initially, a dog’s hind end becomes weak, his bark can sound different, he loses the ability to walk in a coordinated manner, and he may vomit, cough, gag, and breathe rapidly. At this point, the pet’s condition rapidly declines and complete paralysis can develop leaving a dog unable to walk, raise his head, or even breathe in the most severe cases.
Despite the potentially deadly nature of tick paralysis, affected dogs improve quickly once all ticks carrying the toxin are removed. Apply a pesticide to your dog that rapidly but safely kills ticks and remove them with a pair of tweezers. Severely affected dogs will need to be hospitalized until they are able to breathe, drink, and eat on their own.
Most cases of tick paralysis can be prevented through the regular use of effective tick control products.