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Tick paralysis has not been reported in horses in North America. Two American Miniature horses were examined for progressive weakness and recumbency. Numerous ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) were found on both horses. Horse 1 was recumbent (grade 5/5 gait deficit) on presentation, whereas Horse 2 was standing but ataxic (grade 4/5 gait deficit) and tetraparetic. Both horses had decreased tongue and tail muscle tone, and had normal spinal reflexes. Cerebrospinal fluid cytology was normal. Equine herpesvirus-1 testing was negative. Ticks were removed within 24 hours of presentation. Both horses were treated topically with permethrin. Supportive care included fluid therapy, treatment for corneal ulceration, and frequent repositioning during recumbency. Within 48 hours of tick removal, both horses were neurologically normal. Ours is the first reported case of presumptive tick paralysis in horses in North America. Although rare, tick paralysis should be considered in horses presented with acute-onset weakness progressing to recumbency. © 2019 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Citation

Kelsey M Trumpp, Ashley L Parsley, Melissa J Lewis, Joseph W Camp, Sandra D Taylor. Presumptive tick paralysis in 2 American Miniature horses in the United States. Journal of veterinary internal medicine. 2019 Jul;33(4):1784-1788

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PMID: 31161701

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