Ollie, a 10-year-old Shetland Sheepdog who had become mysteriously ill was saved at the last minute by an affectionate and observant veterinary intern.
Al and Joelle Meteney, Ollie’s owners, brought their pet to their veterinarian after they noticed he had become lethargic and unwilling to eat, a blog post from the veterinary clinic, DoveLewis, explained. Multiple screenings, including bloodwork and X-rays, turned up nothing, and Ollie’s condition continued to worsen. By the following day, he was unable to stand or go to the bathroom, and the Meteneys made the heartbreaking decision to put him down.
But just before the procedure, Neena Golden, an intern working with veterinarian Adam Stone at DoveLewis, gave Ollie a comforting scratch behind his ear and felt a strange lump.
What she felt turned out to be an embedded tick, presumably picked up during a recent camping trip, that had caused a rare condition called tick paralysis.
Veterinarians removed the tick, and by the next day, Ollie was back on four feet.
“Tick-borne diseases occur in all 50 states and often cause serious illness in dogs, ranging from acute and life-threatening to chronic conditions that significantly impact a dog’s quality of life,” says Dr. Diane E. Brown, CEO of the AKC Canine Health Foundation.
The organization recently launched the Tick-Borne Disease Initiative to raise funds for research aimed at discovering innovative approaches to understanding, preventing and treating tick-borne diseases. All donations received through this initiative, up to $250,000, will be matched by the AKC. Learn more about it here.