Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tick paralysis

Last night my girl, Ravin (Labrador Retriever) started acting really strange... first she didn't play with the pups as she usually does while I'm watching tv. I didn't think much of it until I put the pups to bed about 11 and noticed that Ravin looked funny... her head was down and turned to the right, her tail was down, she was panting slightly and she both shuffled and staggered when she walked. She felt SLIGHTLY warm and seemed to be having trouble focusing her eyes. Also, when I put a hand on her, I could feel her muscles jumping and twitching. I watched her while watching the 11 o'clock news and almost decided to get dressed for a trip to the emergency vet. But she went outside with the rest of the dogs and when she came back in, put herself in the huge (Great Dane size) crate in the bedroom and laid down. She slept through the night but I woke up early and she really didn't seem any better. So I let all the dogs run out to the pot... not happy campers being waken 2 hours earlier than normal... and we left for the vet so we'd be there when they open at 7:30. JUST before we walked out the door I pulled an engorged tick from the center of her back. Do you know about tick paralysis?

My first case was in Georgia, a 7-8 pound Shih-Tzu who suddenly couldn't get up, could barely move. I walked in to my ancient country vet's office carrying her and he didn't even examine her... all he said was "Find the tick yet?" I had no clue what he was talking about. He went through her hair, pulled off a tick from her back and said "Now watch this." A few minutes later she raised her head and within 15 minutes she was sitting and standing.By the time I got back home with her... maybe 30 minutes from the tick's removal... she was walking normally.

Well, we've pretty much decided tick paralysis was Ravin's problem. I pulled it off and didn't even think about it until we got out to the car and I started wondering how long my back was going to hurt from picking up this hundred pound dog... and
she jumped in... clumbsily, but she got in. By the time I finally got into one of the exam rooms with her, she was pretty much back to normal. Jane (my vet) said it was their first tick paralysis of the year and thanked me for reminding them early... she said they always forget about it because they have so few until the first one shows up each Spring. By the way, something she told me that I already knew but had forgotten... it is only the FEMALE tick that puts out the toxins that cause paralysis. A dog can be covered in ticks and not have a problem. Also, it does affect people... 99.9% of them children.

I asked her about Seiz's double seizure last weekend and she said I was right in thinking it was a bad sign, particularly since all the dogs noticed his problem. It could get dangerous for him now... if I'm not there when he has one, the pups/dogs could hurt him. I've pretty much decided the next time he has a double or even a severe seizure, I'm going to do him the kindness of putting him to sleep. He is SUCH a brat I'll miss him a lot. Sometimes it's the bad boys that steal you heart.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.