PORTLAND, Ore. — A visiting medical student at DoveLewis Animal Hospital found a tick hidden behind a dog’s ear right before she and a veterinarian were scheduled to put the dog to sleep over his ailing health.
According to a news release from DoveLewis, the owners of 10-year-old Ollie the Sheltie noticed their dog was lethargic following a trip to the Umpqua River and Eastern Oregon. They took the dog to their normal vet for a range of tests, but veterinarians couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.
“He still had a little sparkle in his eyes so he didn’t look really sick, he couldn’t really move… but you know, his expressions were still lively and responsive, his ears were still perking up. It was almost unreal,” Ollie’s owner Joelle Meteney said.
About a week after the trip, the dog was almost completely paralyzed and unable to eat or go to the bathroom.
With veterinarians telling the Meteneys there was no sign of recovery, they decided to put Ollie down at DoveLewis.
Extern Neena Golden took a moment to comfort Ollie prior to putting him down alongside Dr. Adam Stone. At that point, she felt a strange lump behind Ollie’s ear that turned out to be a tick. Even though Ollie had worn a tick collar during his trip to Eastern Oregon, the bug had managed to lodge itself in Ollie’s fur and stick around for days.
“The tick was very bloated, and there was lots of fecal material from the tick. It had obviously been there for a while,” Dr. Stone said.