Tick paralysis, a reversible paralysis of a Beagles’ motor function, is associated with the infestation of ticks. Within their saliva the ticks secrete a toxin which sort of mimics the toxin of botulism in how it prevents the release of ACh (acetylcholine), a messenger molecule responsible for the transmission of a nerve impulse across the synaptic cleft to the muscle fiber supplied by the nerve.
The signs of tick paralysis are usually seen within a week after attachment of ticks. These include: incoordination of the Beagles’ hindquarters, vomiting, an altered bark, reduced respiration and difficulty with swallowing. As the signs progress, there will be paralysis of the forelimbs and a complete inability to stand without the loss of consciousness.
The treatment of tick paralysis involves the removal of the causative ticks and the administration of antiserum as well as general supportive care. The prognosis for the Beagles’ recovery is good.