Dog's life saved by last-minute tick discovery
Friday, May 27, 2016, 4:54 PM - Oille, a sheltand from Portland, Oregon has gotten another chance at life after a last-minute tick discovery saved him from being euthanized.
About a week after returning home from a camping trip with his owners Al and Joelle, 10-year-old Ollie got sick.
He was lethargic, weak and having difficulty walking and eating.
Veterinarians performed a battery of tests on the previously-healthy dog, but couldn't diagnoses his illness. Ollie was given medication, but his condition kept deteriorating, to the point where he was almost paralyzed and lost the ability to eat or go to the bathroom on his own.
That's when Al and Joelle made the heartbreaking decision to have their best friend put to sleep.
“We were at a complete loss,” Al said in a press release by the DoveLewis Animal Hospital.
“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.”
As vets were preparing to euthanize Ollie, staff member Neena Golden comforted the dog by scratching behind his ear. That's when they found a tick.
“The tick was very bloated, and there was lots of fecal material from the tick. It had obviously been there for a while,” Dr. Adam Stone said in the press release.
That's when Ollie's caretakers realized he was suffering from a rare condition called tick paralysis.
Tick paralysis occurs when a tick's saliva gets into the dog's system over a long period of time, leading to neurological distress and paralysis. Only certain ticks can cause the condition. It is completely treatable.
Vetrinarians then shaved Ollie's body to make sure there were no other ticks. Ten hours after the arachnid had been remove, Ollie was able to walk and go to the bathroom again.
“We were astounded by the quick turnaround,” Dr. Stone said.
“We were thinking it would take closer to three days for him to heal, if it did turn out to be tick paralysis,” Golden added. “When we got the call from his owners that Ollie was doing fine, we all high-fived each other. That might be the one tick paralysis case I experience in my career. It was exciting that we could help.”
Ollie is now back to normal. To prevent another case of tick paralysis, Dr. Stone recommends fitting Ollie with a tick collar and giving him ingestible tick medication the next time they go camping.
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