Epic $27k battle to save dog’s life

IT TOOK $27,000 and a herculean effort from more than 40 people to save the life of a Gold Coast family's six-month-old Shih Tzu after it was bitten by a paralysis tick.

The Cassidy family's newest member, Hercules, was on his death bed on a ventilator for about two weeks at Carrara Animal Emergency Service, but money proved no object for the tiny pooch's owners and the vet.

Twins Kobe and Grace, both 2, with Hercules after his two-week ordeal. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Twins Kobe and Grace, both 2, with Hercules after his two-week ordeal. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Owner Michelle Cassidy said the generosity of the business was crucial as it stepped in to help when the bill soared to $27,000 for just one week.

"That's when the Animal Hospital stepped in and said they would take care of it from here," she said.

"When the hospital said that, we felt so blessed."

Paralysis ticks can be potentially fatal to animals, causing breathing difficulties that can require mechanical ventilation.

Hercules the Shih Tzu survived a two-week ordeal in hospital after a paralysis tick bite. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Hercules the Shih Tzu survived a two-week ordeal in hospital after a paralysis tick bite. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Vet Dr Rod Meehan said Hercules become a celebrity at the animal hospital, and a make-or-break case for staff morale as more than 40 people worked to keep him alive.

"You get very nervous when people have invested so much time and effort and they have been on the rollercoaster up and down," Dr Meehan said.

"To have 24-hour care, the nurses and the vets are so invested that I couldn't possibly have a poor outcome for patients like Hercules."

He said the ordeal ended in an emotional reunion with his owners.

"We were rapt, we were absolutely ecstatic when he came off the ventilator and even more when he went home," he said.

Dr Meehan said owners were more willing to spend big bucks to save their furry friends than 10 or 20 years ago.

Ms Cassidy said Hercules was now back home and recovering with the family after his treatment.

Grace with Hercules after his ordeal. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Grace with Hercules after his ordeal. Picture: Nigel Hallett


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