March 13, 2011 6:41 AM   Subscribe

"Canyon Crest K9 Training Center owner, Ron Pace, saves the life of a boxer with CPR (SLYT; 7.52) during a regular training session. During the session, the dog suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing. Ron immediately applied CPR. Within a few minutes, the dog regained consciousness."

It's a bit fluffy, but it couldn't hurt to have even a small thing to smile about right now.

I also have an idea how canine CPR works, in case I ever need to apply it.
posted by bwg (27 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Those were the wussiest chest compressions ever. I couldn't even hear any ribs breaking!

Best part was the "wtf is everyone staring at me for" look when she woke back up.
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:50 AM on March 13, 2011

I found the cries of the owner really heart wrenching to listen to. How utterly traumatic for her. And while keeping calm is incredibly important in such a situation I identified with what I'm guessing was her heart just breaking there at the sight of her dog dying right in front of her. How weird it must have been to have people around you telling you to stay calm, knowing that's probably the best plan of action for you, but your heart wants to just loose it. I'm so glad this worked out for the best for everyone.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:01 AM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

Pet CPR from Pets out of Austin.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:06 AM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

How awful to listen to the owner's anguish. I had to stop mid-video to go hug my dog.

The description said the dog had cardiomyopathy. What does that mean for the dog's future?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:20 AM on March 13, 2011

Oh my goodness, that poor woman. (Thanks for posting - that's really different!)
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:23 AM on March 13, 2011

That guy totally rules.

Also, am definitely taking a pet CPR class now.
posted by Jess the Mess at 7:26 AM on March 13, 2011

"What does that mean for the dog's future?"

(btw, you're going to die too. Maybe before the dog, but probably not.)
posted by markkraft at 7:26 AM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

markkraft, Would a little compassion kill ya?
posted by Richard Daly at 7:42 AM on March 13, 2011

Dog is positioned on the wrong side.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:49 AM on March 13, 2011

The description said the dog had cardiomyopathy. What does that mean for the dog's future?

From my understanding, boxers are prone to dilated cardiomyopathy (although it's possible that this dog has another cardiomyopathy, because there are others, though it would be much less common). The long-term prognosis is not good, but there are ways to manage the dog's condition medically if the condition is caught early, and to slow the progression of symptoms once the dog becomes ill. Sometimes one can intervene surgically, as I was just reading about pacemaker implantation for DCM. Sometimes owners choose euthanasia when treatment to ensure good quality of life is beyond their means, and they don't want to inflict an uncomfortable process of dying on their pet.

Unfortunately, as of right now, DCM invariably leads to heart failure and premature death. However, many dogs with DCM live happy lives before their condition presents and worsens, and with treatment and attention to quality of life, many dogs with symptomatic DCM have quite good lives with a minimum of discomfort. I've known several who were playful and happy animals right up until they passed away in their sleep, and others who were managed medically until they were in enough discomfort that their owners chose euthanasia.

Dog is positioned on the wrong side.

true, but 'imperfect' CPR is better than none, and it clearly helped in this case.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 7:53 AM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]

pshaw. I've given a rat CPR and mouth-to-nose on more than one occasion.

(No, I am not kidding.)

(this is still very cool.)
posted by gaspode at 8:29 AM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

I know an outdoorsy type who tried giving CPR to a wild rabbit that had just gone into shock from being chased by a dog. It didn't work.
posted by painquale at 8:46 AM on March 13, 2011

the dog suddenly collapsed

Apparently, this dog took the "play dead" part of the training a bit too literally. Before reaching for the paddles, I think yelling "roll over" might have been the appropriate next step.
posted by three blind mice at 8:56 AM on March 13, 2011

"Once I had a pup...and 'pup' spelled backwards is still pup. But 'dog' spelled backwards - I advise you to think about that, Mister." --- Felix Unger.
posted by SPrintF at 12:45 PM on March 13, 2011

I couldn't even get through half of that video; I fear that I would be that woman, completely losing her everloving as her dog was dying. I am glad that the dog was alright. My dog is laying right beside me on the couch, and I just used her to (mock) demonstrate the resuscitation technique for my husband. She was not amused.
posted by msali at 1:07 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Good story, but I was hoping it was going to be about a dog giving a prizefighter CPR.
posted by gjc at 1:34 PM on March 13, 2011

Unfortunately heart defects are common in boxers as a breed.
posted by rodgerd at 1:49 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

There is a legendary tale from my fire department of a colleague who saved a cat that was pulled from a fire, doing CPR and starting an IV to revive it. People tease him to hide the unspoken but universal acknowledgement that he is THE MAN and could save a rock if he felt like it.
posted by itstheclamsname at 1:57 PM on March 13, 2011 [14 favorites]

If I were a dog with heart problems, Ron Pace would be the guy I want to save my ass. That was flat-out amazing.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:26 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Im guessing the dog was bumped from the training and had to take the less physical class.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:29 PM on March 13, 2011

If only I had a penguin...: "The description said the dog had cardiomyopathy. What does that mean for the dog's future?"

Cardiomyopathy is most common in boxers - so common, Wikipedia has an article on it. As it says, Sotalol is currently the standard treatment in most of the world.

As to the outcome for this dog, at some point, the dog will likely die of sudden heart failure. It can happen in it's sleep, or it can happen like what you see in that video - a quick collapse, normally following physical exertion. Having said that, I know boxers with CM who lived full and happy lives until the age of 12.

That dog looks quite a lot like our boxer, and that incident is right up there in my Top Three Dog Nightmares (hit by car, heart failure in the park, accidental poisoning.) I am glad someone there knew CPR and that it worked for this dog!
posted by DarlingBri at 5:51 PM on March 13, 2011

Good dog! Dr V at Pawcurious had some comments/advice on the video the other day that I, as a dog owner, thought were interesting. To give you an idea she starts off with:

Despite the fact that the man neither saved the dog nor performed CPR, I would be OK with not bursting his bubble and letting him carry on this wave of adoration were it not for this one simple fact: I don’t want you all to do the same thing.

She mentions pet first aid classes. Anyone know a good place to take these in Toronto?
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:24 PM on March 13, 2011 [5 favorites]

This was so hard to watch.

I once drove from Laurel to DC in about ten minutes with red light cameras flashing behind me like the strobes at a disco when my "it's complicated" was losing the dog that was the last living vestige of the life he had with the lover he lost far too soon, and I'd read up on CPR for dogs. I rolled the rangy limp black dog to the right side, did compressions, closed his lips with two hands to give breaths, then slung ninety pounds of lifeless Lab in my arms to run to the car while rivulets of his urine soaked me. We crossed the city at illegal speeds, with the old guy's collar jingling gently at each turn, stop, or lurching acceleration, and I held my friend's hand while a team of vets worked on him until the bitter, bitter end. I'd gotten there too late. It probably was too late from the beginning, but you have to try. I'd only ever read about CPR for dogs, anyway, and like this guy, I probably got it wrong.

The next time around, my old girl had been banging around under my desk while I was packing for a trip, in one of her little needy moments where she'd just cling to me and stay at my heel, tripping me at every turn. It was a periodic thing with her, and at sixteen, she was long past her expiration date, half blind, mostly senile, and even more difficult than she'd been for the previous sixteen years. For a shar pei, that's pretty difficult.

"Jeez, Rose, what are you doing under there?" I snapped, watching her circling uncertainly around the extension cords. I kept packing, watching the clock and my early departure on a road trip burning away. Behind me, she flopped down, the way she usually flopped down, with a thunk, and I folded in a few more pairs of underwear, then turned back to see why she was scratching at the floor.

She was on her side, paddling, with her neck extended, like she was trying to keep her head above water, and it only took me an instant to see that she was in a seizure, looking for all the world like she was drowning on her side. I've heard since that dogs will do that, running off the baser mechanical instinct in their brain, because they are drowning, in a way. She paddled and paddled and then stopped. Everything stopped, except for my heartbeat, which felt fast and hard enough to kill me. I pressed my ear to her ribs, but couldn't hear anything.

Sometimes, my unique living situation is just odd, in that I live in a five unit apartment house with my two ex-partners each living in another unit in the house. That day, I flew up the stairs, crashed through the door, and called for Paul.

We stumbled back down, Rose was as limp as that old Lab, just dead to the world. For a few years, I'd worried about how Paul would react when Rose finally hit the end of the road. He had the bond, of the two of us, and I was actually jealous of their easy, relaxed state of perfect simpatico they had. Hell, he hadn't even wanted a dog, but I picked her out. I'd worried that he'd come apart at the seams when the time came, and thought long and hard about how to handle it.

Except—well, except I didn't handle it. I went to that exact place the woman in the video went to, to that yawning, hopeless, empty chasm where you just fall and fall and fall, and I was completely and totally useless. I cried, I screamed, I grabbed Rose and held her and shook her, and I shook, too, the way you do when you can't calm down.

And then, well, she stirred, took a breath, and her eyes rolled back into place, and her tongue moved, and she looked up with those cataract-bleary eyes as if to ask "what the hell are you doing?"

She stirred and sat up and Paul brought her some water and she drank it while he called the vet. I sat with her on the front porch while he cleaned the junk out of the passenger seat and it was a beautiful sunny morning, with the garden along the front walk a roaring swirl of floral flames and the grass as green as emeralds. There was the last vestige of a fairy circle of mushrooms where she liked to sit while Paul worked on the gardening, and the sky was blue and clear. I carried her out to the car, my chest burning.

There was another seizure in the car as we drove the two miles to the vet, and I panicked again, and cried even harder, and I ran up the front steps of the vet with her limp in my arms, but she perked up again on the steel table, then acted dazed and disoriented while we met with the vet who'd dealt with the cantankerous old girl for most of her life.

What do you do? I mean, please, will someone tell me?

Resting there, she stiffened up again, her head went out, trying to get above the drowning surface of the endless sea as she paddled for her life, and it was time. You might get a respite of day, a week, or hell, a year, but when we thought about it, it almost guaranteed that when she went, it would be on her own, when we were out taking the trash out, or running errands at the store, or while we were at work, and the thought of that, of her meeting that moment on her own, without anyone who loved her there to rub the scruff of her neck and say "it's okay, baby, it's okay. You're a good girl, you're a good girl," was the worst thing in the world.

The rest was unbearable, but I'm here, so obviously it wasn't literally unbearable.

I like to think that something in that wretched day changed me, so next time around, I'll be less useless when the time comes to take important actions to minimize suffering. I don't blame myself, really. Rose was my baby, my rescue, and the canine problem child that I'd given the best life I could give her. I just didn't think she'd go the way she did. I just always figured I'd wake up and she'd be gone, and that's how all our family dogs had done over the years.

Next time, I'll remember.

I sort of thought I wouldn't get another dog again. Every dog you ever own will break your heart, unless you break theirs first. I couldn't sleep anymore, because I'd had the palliative buzz of her incessant snoring to calm the part of me that makes me walk in my sleep. My time was suddenly so free and open that I thought I might go out and have some fun, but it just ended up formless and empty. Turns out I'm just a dog person. We're hopeless. Both of the dogs I have today will break my heart one day, especially the little beagle, who's an older guy who had heartworms before I adopted him, but here I am.

This was so hard to watch, and I'm sorry to say I didn't learn anything new about CPR, because I think the people who point out the problems with that moment are right, but it took me right back to a place I didn't want to go, and I'm glad. My dogs will each break my heart one day. If you can't live with that, you shouldn't have a dog. There's an ending for each of them.

Until then, there's just now.
posted by sonascope at 8:05 PM on March 13, 2011 [7 favorites]

I'm interested in Dr. Megan's comments on the vagus stimulation aspect, actually.

Try contacting OVC's veterinary hospital at Guelph...they might be ale to direct you to resources.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 8:05 PM on March 13, 2011

That must have been a really hard behavior to train.
posted by elder18 at 10:50 PM on March 13, 2011

Here is an informative post about this from another site I frequent and mildly trust:

OK, I'm gonna out myself a little here. I'm a vet. I've worked as an ER vet for 3 years. This was NOT CPR. CPR on an animal looks pretty much just like CPR on a person, only your patient is on their side while you are giving chest compressions. You have to push hard and fast enough to move blood through the heart. They used to test us in vet school by placing a blood flow monitor in the cornea (weird, I know) while we were giving compressions. If we could get blood perfusing through that far away from the heart, we were doing it right. It takes a LOT more compression to do that than what this man was doing.

Since this is a boxer, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess he has heart disease (common in Boxers, they actually have their own special heart disease, Boxer Cardiomyopathy), and he had a syncopal, or fainting episode. He certainly wasn't breathing at the beginning of the video, but I wouldn't say that the man "administering CPR" saved his life. If anything, they just stimulated him to breathe by jostling around the vagus nerve. I have a feeling the dog would've regained consciousness on his own.

Secondly, It was dumb to have the dog sit there so long after he had regained consciousness before getting him to a vet. Once he's conscious and aware of his surroundings, they should've carried him to a car and driven him to the vet.

I don't blame them for trying what they thought was necessary though.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:41 AM on March 14, 2011

Also I'd like to point out that it doesn't seem he checked for a heart beat before doing compressions. That's the first thing you're supposed to do! You could really hurt someone even worse if you don't.

Then again, this is a dog and like I said, I don't blame them for trying what they thought was necessary.

Please, if it's a person, CHECK FOR A HEARTBEAT FIRST.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:45 AM on March 14, 2011

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