Tick Paralysis

American dog tick, photo courtesy of Tony DiTerlizziIn rare instances, a toxin produced by the American dog tick after feeding for 5 to 7 days causes an ascending, symmetrical paralysis that begins with the lower limbs and progresses within several hours to the torso, upper limbs and head, causing loss of coordination, irregular breathing, and slurred speech. Although death may result through respiratory failure, complete recovery usually occurs within 24 hours following removal of the tick.