Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Dog walker uses CPR to save boxer’s life
Travis before the incident occurred.

Travis resuscitated three times after his heart stopped during a walk 

A professional dog walker put her animal first-aid skills to the test when she saved the life of a boxer dog in her care.

Karen Hodge was walking eight-year-old Travis near Mansfield in December when he slipped and fell down a hill. She first thought that he was fitting, having looked after epileptic dogs before, but then he didn’t seem to recover as expected.

“He lost control of his bowels, and then I saw he’d stopped breathing and his eyes were glazing over,” she explained. “At that point, I knew something was seriously wrong, and I needed to act immediately.”

As luck would have it, Karen had recently completed a PDSA Pet First Aid course - organised by the charity Notts & Yorkshire Boxer Rescue, where she also volunteers.

“The PDSA Pet First Aid course was great, it covered lots of information and we did demos too, so everything was fresh in my mind,” she said. “I never thought I’d be using the skills so soon, but something just took over - I went into automatic and knew exactly what to do.”

Karen confirmed that Travis’ heart had stopped and that he wasn’t breathing, so she began to deliver CPR. She also asked her daughter Emily, who was with her that day, to run back to the van and call Travis’ owners.

Travis came round after several minutes but was confused and unable to walk, so Karen and Emily carried him back to the van and set off for the nearest veterinary practice. During the one-mile journey, Travis stopped breathing again and Karen told her daughter how to carry out CPR whilst she continued to drive - thankfully, he was resuscitated again.

Travis’ heart stopped for the third time on arrival at the vets and needed to be resuscitated by the veterinary team. They were able to stabilise him, but later referred Travis to a specialist cardiologist, where he was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Travis is now on medication for his condition but has been warned against any vigorous exercise as his heart could stop at any time. Owner Julie, who has had Travis since he was a puppy, said: “We really can’t thank Karen enough – without her Travis wouldn’t still be with us.

“Thankfully he’s pretty much back to normal, he still loves to play and to look at him you wouldn’t know anything was wrong with him. But it’s a real worry for us that this could reoccur, it’s like living on tenterhooks constantly.”

PDSA community vet nurse, Kaya Hawrylak, who delivered the Pet First Aid course, said: “Travis is incredibly lucky to be alive, and he has Karen to thank for that. Our Pet First Aid courses enable people to learn vital emergency skills that can literally mean the difference between life and death for pets until they can get to a vet.”

Image (C) PDSA

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Dogs Trust announces winners of vet student awards

News Story 1
 Cambridge vet student James Jewkes has been awarded first place in the annual Dogs Trust EMS Awards, for his paper on the threat of exotic infectious diseases in rehoming centres. James will now go on a two-week placement at the WVS International Training Centre in South India.

Each year the awards allow vet students to gain hands-on experience during work placements at 13 of the charity’s rehoming centres, then submit reports on a relevant subject.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemen’s Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: “I’m very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sport’s commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."