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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 15138
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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I found what looked like a dead imbedded tick in my little

Customer Question

I found what looked like a dead imbedded tick in my little 11 1/2 year old dog in 4-24-15 and immediately had it removed by a vet, an antibioltic was injected also. On 7-8-15 my little poodle mix had a massive seizure that lasted an hour before we were able to get to a late-night ER Vet. He survived, had a 106.9 temp (now we know to keep a dog cool). He went on PB and no seizures seen until 12-24-15. It sent downhill from there, turning into a head tilt to the left, circling, stumbling, falling, seizures would recur the next 3 months until we got to max Pheno dose. I had prednisone injected on 3-10-16, the vet said it would work by next day if it was what was needed. It didn't. I put him to sleep, then found your statement it could have been a tick borne disease. I am horrified that I didn't find the tick right away or even know how long it had been on him. I am horrified that my negligence may have brought on the massive seizure 2 months later. I did not not want to put him down, I loved him so! It is just over a week later and I am beside myself with grief. Do you think it was the tick? He was so trim (7 lbs) and was an agility dog for about 3 years, always a ball fetching athlete. I let him down! If we were not in financial straits, I would have gotten him an MRI and scan. The vet said since the PB stopped the seizures (for over 5 months at first) unless I missed something slight, then it was not likely a brain tumor which would not have responded. My little guy was still aware, still kissing my face to the last day. I think I handled things wrong! I am so upset and miss him so badly.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear your dog is gone, and that you are so distressed.

I do not think the tick that you found last April caused the symptoms you describe. Seizures are not very common in tick borne diseases, but when they happen it is not 3 months later. I can't say for sure without scans like CT or MRI, but a brain tumor is probably the most common cause of seizures in older dogs. Phenobarb may help control seizures caused by a brain tumor for awhile, but eventually the seizures become worse, phenobarb does not help, and other neurologic problems such as head tilt, circling, etc.

Only a spinal tap could confirm if this was due to tick disease, and only a brain scan could have confirmed a brain tumor, but I suspect it was a brain tumor. The vast majority of tick bites do not result in any disease, and I think you would have seen something sooner than July if the tick was found in April.

Most tick diseases are spread by a tick that is attached for at least 24 hours, usually 48 or more, so having the tick removed as soon as you found it was the best thing to do.

I am sorry you feel so bad, but I suspect that this terrible illness and symptoms would have happened if the tick was never there.

Let me know if I can help with or answer anything else.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I hope you were able to see what I wrote! Let me know if this was helpful and if you have any more questions.

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