March 30, 2015 - 10:35 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – Mary Verigin knew something was wrong with her dog as soon as she opened her crate last Monday morning.
“She could get up on her front feet but there was no strength behind her shoulders,” she says. “I didn’t know what to do. Of course I was crying.”
Verigen phoned her vet, Dr. Moshe Oz of Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital, who told her to bring the 13-month-old Lab in right away.
Verigin and her husband Larry live at the end of a cul-de-sac backing onto 30 acres of crown land so they were aware of the dangers posed by ticks, but says she never thought to worry this early in the year.
Dr. Oz says he's already had several cases of tick paralysis show up at his office this month. The early spring-like weather is the reason.
He put Verigin’s dog, Jill, on IV fluids and gave her medication. Within an hour she was already improving and by lunch had made a full recovery.
“All this can be caused by one stupid tick so I think it’s important for people to know it is already the season,” Dr. Oz says.
He says ticks can transmit two kinds of diseases to animals. One is Lyme disease caused by a bacteria and the other is when the animal is allergic to the saliva of the tick, “that can create a nerve issue and basically the dog becomes paralyzed.”
Verigin says Jill is back to her old self but says from now on she will be putting her dogs on one of the preventative medicines available at vet clinics as soon as the snow is gone.
“We have always done the tick medicine but we normally don’t start it until April or May,” she says. “It’s terribly frightening but we’re very happy that she’s doing so well.”
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