Dog nearly killed by tick paralysis - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dog nearly killed by tick paralysis

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KELLOGG, Idaho -

A little dog in Kellogg came within inches of death, when he was bitten by a tick, and paralyzed. But luckily for little Scooter, he has already completely bounced back.

Based on how the little black Pomeranian is running around now, it's hard to believe a week ago, he could barely move.

"He could not walk, he was totally paralyzed on the back end," explained Kimberly Johnson from Shoshone Pet Rescue.

She got the call last week from Scooter's foster mom that something was wrong. They brought him to the vet, and a tech noticed the tick.

"They said that once the tick's removed," Johnson explained, "the dog immediately starts getting better, so by the next day we were able to pick him and up and take him to his foster home."

Apparently it was just in time.

Dr. John Cook, DVM., the veterinarian and owner of Kellogg Pet Medical told us tick paralysis can be deadly.

"If you don't get the tick off in time," he said, "because that paralysis keeps moving up and up and up, it can eventually paralyze their breathing muscles, and they die."

Cook says the toxin from a tick bite can take five to nine days to start being a problem, which can be your window to keep your pet alive.   

He says typically, he sees one or two dogs with tick paralysis in a year, but that doesn't seem to be the case at the moment.

"This year we probably are going to see potentially more of it," Cook said, "because ticks are worse this year."

So what you need to do, is carefully look through your pets fur anytime you take them through a wooded area or a place with high grasses or bushes, by pushing it the other way.

You should also get a tick and flea medication from your vet to fight the pests head on. There are a few different kinds, either a gel you put on their back, or a chewable tablet that tastes like a treat.

Now that Scooter has his meds, he's ready to turn the tables on any tick that tries to take him down.

"He's got medication that was for ticks and flees," Johnson said, "and so now if anything gets on him, they'll be killed."

By the way, Scooter's foster family has decided to adopt him.

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