Skip to Content

Tick Bites: Signs of Tick Paralysis

Topic Overview

The inability to move a part of your body (paralysis) as a result of a tick bite is a rare problem. Tick paralysis can be caused by several different types of ticks in North America. The symptoms of tick paralysis are caused by the venom secreted from the female tick during feeding.

Symptoms usually start 4 to 7 days after a tick attaches to your body. Symptoms of tick paralysis include:

  • Tingling, numbness, or loss of feeling or movement that starts in your hands or feet.
  • Trouble swallowing or talking.
  • Double vision.
  • Loss of movement in your face.

If the tick bite is on the head, symptoms of tick paralysis may include:

  • Facial paralysis.
  • Double vision.
  • Difficulty swallowing or talking.

Most cases occur in children. When these symptoms develop, contact your doctor immediately to arrange for care. Removing the tick may be all that is needed to stop the release of the venom and control the symptoms.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised July 5, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Classes & Events

Section Links

Health Library