A Sheltie named Ollie was moments from death when a surprise discovery saved his life. The ten-year-old dog had been camping in Oregon with his owners, Al and Joelle, when he became suddenly very sick on the family’s return. From being perfectly healthy and active, Ollie was soon struggling to walk, behaving lethargically and refusing food.
A trip to the veterinary clinic, however, couldn’t pinpoint the problem, even after blood tests, urine analysis and numerous x-rays. In the meantime, Ollie had deteriorated rapidly, now unable even to stand or go to the toilet on his own. His shocked owners, who couldn’t bear to see him suffer, agreed that it would be best to end Ollie’s life.
“We were at a complete loss,” Al said, in the DoveLewis clinic news release. “What do you do in that situation? He is part of our family, and we’ve always tried to provide the best care we can for him.”
Just as the staff were preparing Ollie’s euthanasia procedure, veterinary intern Neena Golden gave the dog a reassuring scratch behind the ear – and revealed an enormous tick, deeply embedded in the fur!
“The tick was very bloated, and there was lots of fecal material from the tick. It had obviously been there for a while,” Dr. Stone said, a clinic vet said.
Ollie was actually suffering from an incredibly rare disorder – tick paralysis, which occurs when a certain species of tick latches on and its saliva enters the dog’s neurological system. By simply removing the tick, Ollie would start to recover. After a shave to check for more of the critters that may have been hiding in Ollie’s copious fluff, the dog was given the all-clear.
Within just ten hours, Ollie was up and moving again, and today he continues to go from strength to strength. Quite the lucky break!
Featured image via DoveLewis.