“This condition is called tick paralysis. It can affect dogs also and can be fatal. I’m glad we took her in when we did and that it wasn’t something worse and that we found it before it got worse.”
According to the American Lyme Disease Foundation, tick paralysis is generally a concern among livestock, and rarely affects humans; But when it does, it’s usually found in young children—under the age of 10.
The ALDF reports symptoms of tick paralysis to include: fatigue, numbness of the legs and muscle pain. Paralysis in individuals spreads from the lower extremities to the upper, followed by tongue and facial paralysis if the tick is not removed. The condition is caused by over 40 different species of ticks—five of which are predominantly found throughout North America.
The ALDF explains severe complications of tick paralysis to include convulsions, respiratory failure and death in up to 12 percent of cases left untreated.
As NPR reports, experts believe 2017 will be a “risky” year for Lyme disease. And while not all ticks carry the disease, it’s important to be on the lookout to best protect yourself and your family.
Evelyn’s tick was a dog tick, which usually does not carry Lyme disease.
Ticks are generally attracted to dark, moist places like the upper-insides of your legs, and the back of your neck where hair may cover the base of your head. So after spending time outside, it’s important to do a thorough search of those areas in addition to the entire body.
You can prevent tick bites by avoiding high grass and wooded areas, and by wearing an insect repellent containing at least 20% DEET.
Should you find a tick, the CDC recommends using fine-tipped tweezers to remove the tick in a steady, upward motion. You’ll want to avoid squeezing or twisting the tick during extraction.
Amanda says she’s still in shock that this happened to her baby girl, but she’s glad Evelyn is safe, and that they were able to spread awareness which could protect others.
“It’s not terribly common for this to happen but it’s good to be aware that if your children or pets start having weakness in their limbs to look for a tick!”
As for Evelyn, Amanda says she’s completely back to being her “feisty-little-self.”