Millie presented to Bemidji Veterinary Hospital on emergency on Sunday, March 30th. The curious young Golden Retriever puppy had fallen into an ice fishing hole and had been submerged underwater for some time. She was unresponsive when first pulled from the water by the clients. En route to the hospital the clients worked on warming her. By the time she had reached the hospital she was revived and started breathing.
The veterinarian on call examined her promptly. She was hypothermic with a body temperature of 96.3 degrees (normal canine body temp is between 100-102.5 degrees). Her gums were pale and her CRT or Capillary Refill Time (time is takes for gums to refill with blood after being pressed on) was slow, which is consistent with being in shock. When listening to her heart and lungs with a stethoscope, the sounds were harsh and her breathing was labored. A catheter was placed in her front leg and intravenous medications and warmed fluids were administered. She was placed on a special heating pad with a heated blanket and monitored closely.
Within a few hours, her temperature had returned to a normal 101.5 degrees. She had vomited and coughed up large amounts of fluids. Her lungs began to sound much clearer and her breathing slightly less labored. Her gums were much pinker and CRT was faster.
The next morning, Millie continued to show improvement. Her lungs sounded better and she was breathing more comfortably. She was maintaining a normal temperature. We offered her food and she ate well. She was started on oral medications; antibiotics to avoid developing pneumonia and a bronchodilator to help her breath easier.
By Tuesday, Millie had returned to her normal, rambunctious puppy behavior. She was discharged back into the care of her owners. She will need to remain on antibiotics for many weeks depending on her continued progress. Aspirating (inhaling) water into the lungs has great potential for pneumonia to develop.
She has been affectionately nicknamed “Bobber” by her new friends at Bemidji Veterinary Hospital.
If you have a small animal veterinary emergency, call us immediately at 218-751-2753. During non-business hours, leave a message and the veterinarian on call will be paged and call you back.