Hi Bozo; I have been very sick. I had a paralysing tick; I have been lucky and have recovered. We have to be very watchful and checking me every day.
Tick paralysis in animals is caused by a salivary neurotoxin produced by certain species of ticks. Usually this is caused by the adult female tick during the period of rapid engorgement (days 5-7), although large numbers of larval or nymphal ticks may also cause paralysis.
The most famous and dangerous tick in this respect is the Paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus, of the Eastern coast of Australia, which attacks humans, dogs, cats, foxes and many livestock animals.
I. holocyclus causes reversible myocardial depression and diastolic failure, leading to cardiogenic pulmonary edema. In severe cases, increased PCV (packed cell volume) reflects a fluid shift from the circulation to the lungs. Progressive pulmonary dysfunction appears to be primarily due to edema, leading to hypoxia, hypercarbia, respiratory acidosis, and eventually death.
Removal of ticks does not immediately halt the progression of the disease, once clinical signs are apparent. Death from respiratory failure is likely to occur within 1-2 days of onset of clinical signs. Appropriate and prompt action saves ~95% of affected animals.
In Australia, the disease commonly continues to progress after removal of ticks, and treatment is indicated for animals with motor or respiratory impairment. In cases in which an adult female Paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyclus, has been removed, but nevertheless clinical symptoms develop within the next 24 hours, a canine tick hyperimmune serum, also called tick antiserum (TAS), is the specific treatment against the tick paralysis. TAS should be given as early in the disease as possible; subsequent “top up” doses are not very effective. For dogs, a minimal dosage of 0.5-1.0 ml/kg, warmed up to room temperature, is given slowly intravenously.
About 5% of animals are likely to die despite all treatment efforts, especially those with advanced paralysis and dyspnea. Older animals or those with pre-existing cardiopulmonary disease are at greatest risk. For animals that recover, owners should be advised to continue searching for ticks, use appropriate preventative methods to repel and kill ticks, and avoid stressing or strenuously exercising the animal over the next two months.
Human tick paralysis
In humans, tick paralysis is most likely to be seen in children. The symptoms in humans are similar to the clinical signs in dogs, including unsteady gait, increased weakness of the limbs, multiple rashes, headache, fever, flu-like symptoms, tenderness of lymph nodes, and partial facial paralysis. Despite the removal of the tick, the patient's condition typically will continue to deteriorate for a time and recovery is often slow.
I wish you a very happy birthday Sam; you look pretty cool with your rawhide cigar!
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