Vet intern solves mystery, saves paralyzed dog’s life moments before he was to be euthanized

Posted at 9:30 AM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 09:35:40-04

Portland, Oregon — It was a close call for one dog in Oregon, whose owners thought they had to euthanize him until an attentive intern spotted something very small that saved his life.

KPTV reports that the Fate family took their beloved dog, Ollie, to the veterinarian when he suddenly became paralyzed. After a thorough check and no answers, the family had to make a tough decision.

“They finally decided they had reached their limit, and it was time to help him pass. He couldn’t stand, he couldn’t walk, he couldn’t urinate, couldn’t defecate,” said Dr. Adam Stone of the Dove Lewis Animal Hospital, who said the problem could have been caused by a number of 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.”

Turns out, none of those issues were causing the little dog’s health problems — it was something much smaller.

As Ollie was in an exam room about to be euthanized, an intern noticed a tick lodged behind his ear.

“He was in the room about to get put to sleep, and it was just pure grace that the people found something and decided to check it out further,” said Ollie’s owner, Falline Fate. “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.”

The tick was pulled out, and Ollie was back to his energetic self in just 10 hours.

“The next morning my mom opened the door and said ‘look at your doggie’ and he comes walking up to me, and I’m barely awake, and just smiled at me,” said Fate.

Ollie’s veterinarian said that paralysis from ticks is pretty rare, but it can happen with certain types of ticks.

Ollie’s owners said they will definitely keep up with tick and flea medication from here on out.