Tick Paralysis



1) Dermacentor Andersoni Stiles tick: most common tick responsible
2) Dermacentor Variabilis Say (dog tick):
3) Amblyomma Americanum (the Lone Star tick):
4) Amblyomma Maculatum (the Gulf Coast tick):
5) Ixodes Scapularis (the black-legged deer tick):




Multisystem Involvement: symptoms usually appear after tick has fed for several days
1) Neuro:
a) Progressive, Ascending Flaccid Paralysis (progresses over 24-48 hrs): first in distal LE muscles -> trunk/UE/tongue/bulbar muscles
-May be preceded by irritability or restlessness x 24 hrs
b) Acute Ataxia:
c) Absence of Sensory Changes:

2) Pulmonary:
a) Acute/Chronic Hypoventilation (see Acute Hypoventilation, [[Acute Hypoventilation]] and Chronic Hypoventilation, [[Chronic Hypoventilation]])

3) Derm:
a) Tick: usually attached to scalp (and hidden by hair), but may be anywhere on body

4) Constitutional:
a) Minimal Fever:


Removal of Tick (gentle, steady traction with forceps/may be aided by drop of oil, petrolatum, nail polish, or other organic solvent/avoid cigarettes and other hot objects): followed by striking improvement in motor function within hrs and complete recovery within 48 hrs

-Retained mouthparts from tick may continue to secrete toxin or may form a chronic granulomatous, pruritic nodule (which may require surgical removal)

Supportive: ventilatory support as needed