Hospital Cases

Paralysis Tick Cases

Case 1

Ned was presented with severe tick poisoning. He was having trouble breathing and could not walk at all. He was gruinting and gagging and went "blue" when stressed.

We placed an oxygen catheter up his nose and connected him to a humidifier and a large oxygen bottle. Despite this, his breathing was very laboured and he was stressed.

Mark decided to give Ned a long acting anaesthetic (Pentobarbitone) with an endotracheal (breathing) tube placed down his windpipe (trachea). As soon as he was asleep, his breathing improved and his body relaxed (see... The The Brain is its Own Worse Enemy for an explanation).

Mark took Ned home so he could "top up" his anaesthetic every 2-3 hours during the night. The next day, Ned was kept anaethetised and we slowly let him wake up in the evening. Upon wakening, he apppeared to be in much less stress than he was previous to the anaesthetic.

Over the next 24 hours, Ned made slow and steady progress. He was discharged 2 days later.

Case 2

Jes, an excitiable 4 month old fox terrier puppy, presented with acute severe respiratory distress due to a paralysis tick on her upper neck causing local paralysis of her vocal chords and swallowing reflexes.

Her gums were blue with her struggling and not being able to get enough oxygen from her lungs.

We sedated Jes and placed an oxygen tube up her nose. The tick anti-venom was injected using a syringe pump attached to an IV line over 1 hour. During the night she settled down and by the morning she was breathing well by herself. She was discharged that night and at a recheck 2 days later, was back to old tricks.

See also...

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Tick puppy