I've decided that I don't like northern NSW anymore, I don't care how green and picturesque it is. I also hate paralysis ticks, particularly the little bastard that hitched a one way ride to WA attached to Sonic. Quite honestly I wish I'd never gone to the wet, humid, crappy place.
Last Saturday afternoon I noticed that Sonic was favouring a back leg about lunchtime. At the time I thought it may just have been because he had been overcompensating with his sore front shoulder from earlier in the week. As the afternoon went on he didn't seem "right" to me and his back end was definitely not as it should be. I did another tick check just in case because I knew there was the possibility that he had picked one up while we were away even though we had treated them as instructed before we left and regularly checked them while we were there. I still couldn't find anything so I just kept him inside with me to keep him quiet. A bit later I had a text message from Steve and Nicola and when I called they told me that Kyte had been taken to Murdoch Emergency Vet Centre after Nicola found two paralysis ticks on him. He had been showing similar symptoms to Sonic before they checked him and found the ticks. We still couldn't find any on Sonic but I just wasn't willing to risk it so off the Murdoch Sonic went too. By that time of the evening he was noticeably quiet so I was pretty sure that something serious was going down.
Sonic's recovery pen - otherwise known as the Taj Mahal
Once we got him to Murdoch they took him straight in and started treatment for paralysis tick. The vets were also unable to find a tick on him after an initial check but as his symptoms were the same as Kyte's they had to assume that was the cause. It was incredibly hard to leave without him but I knew that it was our only option if Sonic was to survive. By the time we got home I was exhausted but all I could think about was if he was going to be OK and if we'd gotten him to Murdoch in time. The vets had told me that no news was good news so when the phone rang in the morning my heart almost worked it's own way out of my chest. Sonic wasn't in good shape but he'd made it through the night. One of the vets had worked in NSW's so had seen many previous cases of paralysis tick in dogs so she was on top of the treatment required. They decided to shave him to see if that helped find the tick however the only obvious sign that was found was a lump and red mark on one of his front legs.
Somebody stole my fur!
Sunday sucked. Sonic had quite bad paralysis in his back end and no gag reflex so he was unable to eat. The vets were pretty confident that he wouldn't be coming home for a few days and were unsure how long it would take him to recover. I just had to wait and see if he got worse or better. Not a fun day at all.
Monday I had to go to work and eventually built up the courage to ring Murdoch and find out how he had gone through the night. I expected her to say that he would have to stay in longer but the vet was very happy to tell me that she had come in to find a very bright and happy boy who had even managed to eat a small amount. It was likely that he could come home that afternoon. I shed tears of relief after that phone call and my day became a whole lot better. I stopped on the way home from work to get him and he was a happy boy indeed when I went out the back to collect him. I was met with much squeaking of joy and licks.
So he has been home since and is going very well. The paralysis toxin stays in the body for at least two weeks so he has to stay quiet as there is the potential for heart failure which can be caused by over exertion. I also have to be careful of aspiration pneumonia so he's being hand fed to stop him from inhaling his food (literally). Now that he's feeling better keeping him quiet is challenging. He is full of beans and has resorted to laps of the house with toy to entertain himself. Not sure what he'll be like come this time next week. There will be no agility for Sonic until next year. I just can't take the risk that his body isn't ready for the sake of the two unimportant trials that remain. Although he'd probably go faster as with no fur he'll be super aerodynamic! His skinny little tail looks like it could take an eye out.
Great new too for Nicola with Kyte able to go home on Tuesday afternoon. They were lucky boys indeed.