Tick Paralysis



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.

Further information

  • Edlow JA, McGillicuddy DC: Tick paralysis. Inf Dis Clin North Am. 2008, 22, 397-414
  • Gordon BM, Giza CC: Tick paralysis presenting in an urban environment. Pediatr Neurol. 2004, 30, 122-4
  • Malik R, Farrow BR: Tick paralysis in North America and Australia. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1991, 21, 157-71
  • Wright IG, Stone BF, Neish AL: Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) paralysis in the dog – induction of immunity by injection of toxin. Aust Vet J. 1983, 60, 69-70

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