Tick paralysis is a serious and sometimes deadly sickness

Tick paralysis is a serious and sometimes deadly sickness »Play Video
Wood tick is an issue for large, warm-blooded animals
PULLMAN, WA – Spring is finally here and with the change of season comes another hazard for pet owners to be aware of, tick paralysis.

Veterinarians at the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital said the wood tick is an issue for large, warm-blooded animals in the spring and early summer. They said local llamas and alpacas seem to contract tick paralysis the most often, but all long-haired animal owners should monitor their pets’ coats for these blood-sucking bugs.

"I don't think people should panic or anything like that because we do see these cases every year,” said WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital Professor of Large Animal Medicine Dr. Steve Parish. “But they should just be observant for anything abnormal on their animal, particularly an acute onset of a neurologic problem."

Parish said tick paralysis is a serious and sometimes deadly sickness, but that not all ticks produce the toxins that make animals ill. If you find a tick on your pet, Parish said to remove it by grasping it close to the skin with tweezers or gloves, and then gently twist it while pulling it off the animal. You should also bring the animal to the veterinarian if they are showing any signs of illness.