This story is bound to send shivers down your spine, but we publish it in the hope that it will encourage our readers to be vigilant when it comes to checking their pets for ticks and other nasties.
Following a rapid decline in his health, Ollie, a ten-year-old Sheltie, was facing euthanasia as vets, and his pet parents, became convinced that it was the kindest course of action. Luckily for Ollie, the veterinary extern preparing him to receive the fatal shot chose to give him one last scratch behind his ears.
Regardless of his advancing years, Ollie was a healthy dog until a camping trip in mid-April changed everything; suddenly, Ollie seemed more lethargic than normal, and was finding it difficult to move about.
Pet parent Falline Fate-Meteney would later explain: "When his mobility was shot and he was paralyzed, it was just weird seeing him just laying there on the floor, knowing he had so much more life in him."
Despite being sent for tests at his local vet in Portland, Oregon, nobody could explain what was causing Ollie's pain; in a matter of weeks, he had become paralyzed, no longer able to get about. Ollie seemingly had no quality of life, and in early May, his family made the difficult decision to have him put to sleep following a visit to the emergency surgery at DoveLewis Animal Hospital. It was as veterinarian Adam Stone and student Neena Golden were preparing Ollie to be euthanized that they discovered something out of the ordinary – a small lump, lodged behind the dog's ear: it was a tick.
Luckily, Stone remembered hearing about a rare occurrence called tick paralysis, and he was able to make a diagnosis there and then. Ollie was shaved in order to make sure there were no more ticks lurking, but it was a small price to pay. Just ten hours after the tick's removal, Ollie was walking around, and his family couldn't believe the miracle transformation.
Please remember to check your pets for ticks. For more advice regarding flea and tick treatment, please watch our video on the subject.