After a camping trip with his family, Ollie the Sheltie's health began to deteriorate. Seconds before he was about to be put down, a student vet discovered something behind his ear.
In the week following a family camping trip, Ollie became increasingly lethargic, eventually unable to walk, eat, or relieve himself. After numerous veterinarian tests, all of which came back inconclusive, Ollie's family made the tough decision to put him down.
When a veterinary student was comforting Ollie alongside Dr. Adam Stone prior to the injection, she felt a strange lump behind his year. After inspection by Dr. Stone, it was determined that this bump was, in fact, a tick.
Based on the size of the tick and the amount of fecal matter around it, it was clear the tick had been there for quite some time.
Dr. Stone recalled learning about a rare condition called tick paralysis in veterinary school and wondered if that could possibly be the cause behind Ollie's sudden health issues.
After discussing the potential diagnosis with the other only vet at the clinic who had ever encountered tick paralysis, Dr. Stone felt confident that's what Ollie was suffering from. The best part of this diagnosis? It's totally curable.
Hospital staff removed the tick and shaved Ollie down to ensure that no other ticks were hiding in his thick coat. Ollie was then sent home to relax and wait until the tick saliva made its way out of his system.
Not 10 hours later, Ollie's owners were shocked to hear the clicking of his nails on their hardwood floor; a sound they had not heard in over a week.
Ollie's story has a happy ending, but it truly highlights the dangers that ticks can pose to dogs. Despite wearing a tick collar, one of these nasty bugs was able to find its way onto Ollie's skin, causing nearly life-ending damage.
Let Ollie's story be a reminder of the importance of checking your dog for ticks after spending time outside. Tick collars are an excellent life of defense, but do not provide complete protection.
All images via DoveLewis.