A total of more than 60 species of ticks have been implicated so far to induce tick paralysis. Clinically overt disease has been described in humans, cattle, sheep, goats, dogs, and rarely in cats. The most noted 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. In the USA, mostly dogs suffer from paralysis due to the the bite of the American Dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) and the Rocky Mountain wood tick (D. andersoni).
Tick paralysis can occur worldwide. However, the disease is endemic in Australia and in regions of Northwestern USA and Southwestern Canada where a large number of known cases occur. In other parts of the world cases of tick paralysis are observed sporadically.
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