I have discussed the deadly effects of paralysis ticks on dogs and what to do when a dog has a tick, so let see how these dangerous ticks can affect horses.
An adult horse carrying only one tick is unlikely to dye from the bite due to his size but will certainly show signs of paralysis. Young horses may be at risk of succumbing to the toxins though.
- The most common sign is lameness, especially if the tick is located on or near a limb. The horse may drag his leg.
- Respiratory difficulty: breathing may be heavy and slow
- Choking: as the toxins of the tick are released in the body and the muscles start to malfunction, the horse may look as if he is choking. Horses cannot vomit like a dog so it looks like he is choking instead. he might have some saliva and foam at the mouth.
- Staggering gait: the horse may walk strangely and vacillates
- Sweating: the horse might start to sweat heavily
- Swollen body parts: the tick bite area may be swollen and red
- General distress: the horse may look distressed, have dilated pupils and may even lay down.
What to do
The first thing to do is to call a vet and explain the symptoms. The vet may suspect a tick bite or maybe something else. Discuss with your vet what you need to do until he/she arrives.