PORTLAND, Ore. — When our dogs fall ill and all hope is lost, sometimes all we have left is a wish for a miracle. For one family in Oregon, that miracle happened minutes before their beloved dog was scheduled to be euthanized.
The Meteney family felt as though they didn’t have many choices when their 10-year-old Sheltie, Ollie, became paralyzed. Over the course of a week, their pup had become increasingly lethargic to the point where he couldn’t eliminate on his own and couldn’t eat.
Blood tests and x-rays didn’t determine what was causing Ollie so much distress.
Dr. Adam Stone of DoveLewis Animal Hospital had been helping the family save their dog however the cause of his sudden paralysis could have been caused by many different 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,” Dr. Stone told KUTV.
The Meteneys made the hard decision and scheduled to have Ollie euthanized.
“We were at a complete loss,” Al Meteney said in a press release. “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 Ollie was being prepared for the procedure, veterinary student Neena Golden gave him some last-minute love and comfort. That’s when she noticed a small lump deep in the fur behind his ear — It was a tick. Within a few hours of removing the tick, Ollie began to move around and within 10 hours he was back to his normal self.
It appears Ollie had been suffering from tick paralysis, a rare condition caused by a potent toxin found in certain species of ticks.
The Meteney family had gone camping two weeks before his sudden health crisis and, although Ollie was wearing a tick collar, he still picked up a tick.
“We all high-fived and hugged each other,” Golden told ABC News. “That was just amazing in itself, that this dog recovered so quickly.”
The Meteneys are ecstatic to have their camping pal back and are excited to be able to have many more trips in the future with him. They are going to be using several different tick defense measures for Ollie to make sure this will never happen again.
“He’s bright-eyed, active, chasing the squirrels around,” Al Meteney told ABC News. “He has a spring in his step that he hasn’t had in quite a while.”