Vet intern spots tick just before paralyzed dog was to be euthanized

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4 Fast Facts

  • Ollie the Collie experienced onset paralysis.
  • Vets couldn’t figure out what the cause was.
  • He was set to be euthanized.
  • Moments before he was going to be euthanized, a vet intern discovered a tick behind his ear was the cause of his paralysis.

PORTLAND, OR – It was a very close call for a dog in Oregon. A few days ago, Ollie the Collie was stricken with paralysis.

“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,” Ollie’s owner Falline Fate told KPTV.

Fate took Ollie to the veterinarian for a thorough checkup, but the vet couldn’t figure out what was wrong with Ollie. So Fate made a tough decision to euthanize him.

“They finally decided they had reached their limit and it was time to help him pass. He couldn’t stand, he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t urinate, couldn’t defecate. So they had instructions to go get his bladder emptied twice a day from the regular vet to see if he would improve,” said Dr. Adam Stone.

Dr. Stone treated Ollie and he told KPTV that the onset paralysis could have stemmed from a number of issues. “Anything from cancer to trauma, or a fracture of a vertebra, or a spinal fracture. Any one of these could have caused similar signs,” Stone explained.

But it wasn’t any of those things. In actuality, it was a much simpler fix. The culprit was a tick that was lodged behind Ollie’s ear.

And fortunately, a veterinary intern discovered the tick before it was too late.

“He was in the room about to get put to sleep, and it was just pure grace that the people found something and decided to check it out further,” Fate explained.

Ten hours after they removed the tick, Ollie was back to his normal self!

According to Dr. Stone, ticks have a “neurotoxin in their saliva that prevents nerve transition to the muscles, and that takes time to build up in the body and cause paralysis like what we saw in Ollie.”

Ollie’s owners told KPTV they will keep up with his tick and flea medication from now on.

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