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It was a lucky day for Ollie. Just moments before the paralyzed dog was to be euthanized a veterinary intern decided to take one last thorough look at the pup and made a startling discovery that ultimately saved his life.
Ollie had suddenly and unexplainably lost his mobility. When the Collie reached the point that he could no longer stand, couldn’t walk, and could no longer urinate, and after several failed treatments from their veterinarian, the family made the heartbreaking decision to humanely euthanize their furriest family member.
“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 explained.
Dove Lewis Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Adam Stone explained that any number of issues could have caused Ollie’s paralysis – cancer, trauma, spinal or vertebral fracture, and more.
The family said their goodbyes and Ollie was in the exam room being prepped to take his final breath when an intern decided to take one last look.
The observant intern spotted a tiny tick embedded just behind Ollie’s ear.
“They 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,” Dr. Stone said. It’s likely Ollie picked up the tick on a recent family camping trip.
Just 10 hours after removing the tick from Ollie’s neck, the dog had made a complete and full recovery, had regained all mobility, and was back to his old, spunky self again.
Dr. Stone says that paralysis from ticks, although rare, is possible and that pet parents should be diligent in preventing and inspecting for ticks on a regular basis.