(CNN)Man's best friend gets a second chance at life; thanks to an extern.
Ollie, a 10-year-old Sheltie from Portland, Oregon, was moments from being euthanized when a veterinary extern spotted the problem that left the dog fighting for his life.
The dog's owners had a tough decision to make when his health started to rapidly deteriorate. Ollie wasn't eating or drinking, he couldn't eliminate on his own and was almost completely paralyzed.
After multiple tests and no sign of a solution, Ollie's owners, Al and Joelle Meteney, decided it was time to end his suffering.
"We were at a complete loss," Al Meteney said in a press release. "What do you do in that situation? He is part of our family, and we've always tried to provide the best care we can for him."
Dr. Adam Stone, DoveLewis Animal Hospital, and extern Neena Golden, who is a visiting veterinary school student, began prepping the dog for the euthanasia procedure. As Golden was comforting the dog, she felt a strange lump in the thick fur behind his ear.
The reason for Ollie's sickness had been found: a tick.
Ollie had developed a rare condition called tick paralysis. This condition is caused by a potent toxin that is released through the saliva of a certain species of tick. The saliva is injected into the blood of the dog, according to PetMD.
"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," said Stone.
Once the tick was removed, Ollie was back to his normal self about 10 hours later.
"When we got the call from his owners that Ollie was doing fine, we all high-fived each other," said Golden.
Even though Ollie was wearing a tick collar, his family suspects he picked up the parasite during a recent camping trip. Stone recommended they use an ingestible tick prevention as well as the collar next time.
As for Golden, this is one lesson she will never forget.
"That might be the one tick paralysis case I experience in my career," she said. "It was exciting that we could help."