OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine through measurement of cardiac biomarkers whether there was cardiac involvement in dogs infested with Ixodes holocyclus.METHODS: Dogs with tick paralysis and no-mild (group 1; n = 44) or moderate-severe respiratory compromise (group 2; n = 36) and a control group of dogs (n = 31) were enrolled. Plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), serum cardiac troponin I (cTnI) and serum creatinine concentrations were determined. For most of the affected dogs SpO2 was determined.RESULTS: SpO2 readings did not differ between groups 1 and 2. Three animals in group 2 had an SpO2 reading <90%. NT-proBNP concentrations were lower in both groups 1 and 2 compared with the control group. There was no difference in cTnI concentrations among groups, although they were elevated in four dogs, including the three dogs in group 2 with SpO2 readings <90%. Creatinine concentrations were within the reference interval for all dogs, but did differ among the groups, with control dogs having the highest values, followed by group 1 and then group 2.CONCLUSION: This study did not detect significant cardiac involvement in dogs with tick paralysis induced by I. holocyclus. Evidence for reduced preload in dogs with tick paralysis was provided by lower NT-proBNP concentrations compared with control dogs. Severe hypoxaemia may not be a significant component of the clinical picture in many of the dogs presenting with tick paralysis. Dogs with severe hypoxaemia may have loss of cardiomyocyte integrity, reflected by elevated cTnI concentrations.