Apparent Ixodes tick paralysis in a cat from North America. Academic Article uri icon


  • CASE SUMMARY: A 2-year-old castrated male domestic longhair cat presented for acute, diffuse, flaccid paralysis. Thoracic and abdominal radiographs, biochemistry panel and complete blood count were unremarkable. Titers to Toxoplasma gondii, myasthenia gravis radioimmunoassay testing and creatinine kinase levels were within normal limits. The most likely differentials included acute toxicity (coral snake envenomation, organophosphate toxicity), botulism and, less likely, acute polyradiculoneuritis. A thorough physical examination revealed a single engorged tick attached to the ventral neck of the cat, which was later identified as an adult female Ixodes species. Topical fipronil and (S)-methoprene was administered. Over the next 48 h, the cat recovered full motor function and at 5days post-tick removal the cat had resumed all normal activities. RELEVANCE AND NOVEL INFORMATION: Tick paralysis is considered endemic in Australia by bites from, most commonly, the Ixodes holocyclus tick. However, this phenomenon is rarely reported in the USA. This is the first report of a domestic cat suffering from acute tick paralysis in North America.

published proceedings

  • JFMS Open Rep

altmetric score

  • 5.8

author list (cited authors)

  • Honnas, C. M., Athey, J. M., Verocai, G. G., Snowden, K. F., Esteve-Gasent, M. D., & Mankin, J. M.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Honnas, Cheri M||Athey, Jillian M||Verocai, Guilherme G||Snowden, Karen F||Esteve-Gasent, Maria D||Mankin, Joseph M

publication date

  • July 2020