Paralysis ticks classically cause a hind limb wobbly gait, gagging/coughing/vomiting and respiratory distress. However tick paralysis can mimic disease in just about any body symptom and do so in a time dependent manner.
After attachment ticks have a small blood feed then go into a 48 hour “paused state” as their body undergoes changes that allow it to subsequently feed, expand and concurrently inject the potent neurotoxin that kills many pets each year. Clinical symptoms generally occur 3-5 days after attachment and progress rapidly over 24 hours even after tick removal.
Early symptoms include change or loss of voice, hindlimb weakness [walk dogs up stairs 5-10 x or drop cats from chest height, tick affected dogs become stumbly/weak and cats will land heavily often with their chins hitting the floor], changes in breathing effort, gagging/grunting or coughing.
More advanced symptoms include an ascending paralysis where the forelimbs are affected, vomiting or regurgitation and marked respiratory noise.
Terminal symptoms include the inability to stand or sit upright and respiratory failure often combined with aspiration pneumonia.