Vet Intern Saves Dog’s Life Moments Before Euthanization

Ollie the Sheltie was about to be put down when visiting student discovers a tick behind his ear.

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Ollie was shaved to ensure that no other ticks were attached to him. Thankfully none were found. Via DoveLewis Animal Hospital
John Virata

A family in Portland, Oregon, are extremely fortunate that a veterinary intern and a visiting veterinary student brought their A-game to work when they examined the family’s dog, who was about to be euthanized.

Al and Joelle Meteney and their daughter, Falline Fate, brought their 10-year-old Sheltie to the DoveLewis Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon, to be euthanized because Ollie was experiencing symptoms of paralysis, Portland’s KPTV News 5 reports.

The dog couldn’t walk or do anything that dogs can normally do, and the family had instructions from his regular veterinarian to have his bladder emptied twice a day in hopes that there would be improvements to his condition, but that proved unsuccessful.

Owner Al Meteney, extern Neena Golden and Dr. Adam Stone check out Ollie after his recovery.Via DoveLewis Animal Hospital

Owner Al Meteney, extern Neena Golden and Dr. Adam Stone check out Ollie after his recovery.Via DoveLewis Animal Hospital

“When his mobility was shot and he was paralyzed, it was just weird seeing him just laying there on the floor, knowing he had so much more life in him,” Fate told KPTV News 5.

Dr. Adam Stone, DVM, a veterinary intern at the hospital, and Neena Golden, a visiting student and veterinary extern from the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University, were prepping a room for euthanasia and conducting a final exam of Ollie when Golden discovered a tick had embedded itself into Ollie’s neck. Stone had learned of tick paralysis while in veterinary school and suspected it may be the cause of Ollie’s paralysis. He stepped back from the euthanasia table and consulted with other veterinarians at the hospital, DoveLewis’ Alaina Buller told Petcha.com.

“I had never seen a tick paralysis case. It’s one of those things you learn about randomly in school – it’s on one slide during one presentation,” Stone said on the DoveLewis blog.

Image A and B shows the engorged tick that was removed from Ollie. Image C show a normal sized tick. Via DoveLewis Animal Hospital

Image A and B shows the engorged tick that was removed from Ollie. Image C show a normal sized tick. Via DoveLewis Animal Hospital/Martin E. Adams, Paleoinsect Research

Stone and Golden removed the tick from Ollie and, as a precaution, Ollie was completely shaved to make sure no other ticks were attached to his skin. None were found.

The family was informed that the tick might be the cause of the paralysis and that it could take several days to see if there was any improvement in the dog, Buller told Petcha.com.

For Ollie, however, 10 hours was all it took for him to become a normal and happy dog again.

“We were thinking it would take closer to three days for him to heal, if it did turn out to be tick paralysis,” Golden said on the DoveLewis blog. “When we got the call from his owners that Ollie was doing fine, we all high-fived each other. That might be the one tick paralysis case I experience in my career. It was exciting that we could help.”

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