Ollie the Sheltie of Portland, Oregon, had become increasingly lethargic and weak after going on a camping holiday – a condition that baffled his regular vet.
Blood tests and X-rays did nothing to explain the illness, and on May 4, after Ollie became fully paralyzed and unable to eat, his owners agreed to put the ten-year-old dog down according to ABC News.
But just before Dr. Adam Stone could do so, vet student Neena Golden (pictured above left, with Dr. Stone) found a tick (pictured bottom-right) that had caused the dog’s rare condition.
As Ollie was just one minute away from death, Golden decided to comfort him by tickling him behind his ears – and that’s where she found the tick that was causing his woes.Although Ollie had been wearing a tick collar during the trip, one of the parasites had still managed to latch onto him.
Neurotoxins in the insect’s saliva then flowed into Ollie’s bloodstream over the course of days, causing ‘tick paralysis’ – a potentially fatal illness.
The tick was removed, and Ollie was sent home – though not before his fur was shaved to make sure he didn’t have any other ticks hidden away.
And now, Al says, the once-paralyzed pup is back on all four feet. ‘He’s bright-eyed, active, chasing the squirrels around,’ he said.
‘He has a spring in his step that he hasn’t had in quite a while.’