Getting to the point where you have to put a beloved furry family member down is heartbreaking--so much so that you'll do almost anything before you have to make that decision. And so it was for Al and Joelle Meteney and their daughter Falline, proud owners of a 10-year-old Sheltie named Ollie. After a week-long camping trip, the dog had become so lethargic that he could barely walk, and only ate if he were being fed by hand.
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The Meteneys took Ollie to their vet, but the tests came out negative. Even medicine made Ollie worse--and the next day he could no longer move or go to the bathroom. Finally, they reluctantly decided to put Ollie down, and took him to the nearest animal hospital. While they were saying their goodbyes, the intern, a vet student named Neena Golden, scratched the Sheltie behind his ears in an effort to calm him down before the fatal injection.
Suddenly, she felt a lump. When she and the vet examined that lump closely it turned out to be a tick. Even though the dog was wearing a flea collar, a tick had lodged itself behind Ollie's ear--and the tick's saliva had gotten into his bloodstream and paralyzed him.
Tick paralysis is so rare that the vet himself had never seen a case--but it can happen with certain species of ticks. Luckily, removing the insect can reverse the symptoms. In 10 hours, Ollie was on his feet, padding around as if nothing had happened. It was truly a miracle--thanks to Golden's empathetic, heartfelt gesture.
The bottom line: Always check for ticks, even if your furball is wearing a flea collar or takes flea and tick meds.
via The Dodo and DoveLewis.org
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