Toby is a sweet Samoyed puppy that loves to hang out with his family and take long walks. Recently the family was out walking when Toby scampered ahead.

Suddenly they heard splashing and frantic barking. Running towards the sound they found Toby floundering in the deep end of the in-ground pool, which had just been uncovered for summer.  With no thought for his personal safety, Toby’s owner dove into the pool and pulled the puppy out. Because Toby was born in December he had never encountered the pool uncovered and was not yet a strong swimmer.

When the concerned family noticed that their pet was having trouble breathing, they rushed him to the 24-hour emergency service at Newtown Veterinary Specialists.

By the time he reached our hospital, Toby was in shock and had severe difficulty breathing.  The emergency veterinary team immediately gave him intravenous fluids and obtained blood samples.

With quick, expert medical attention, IV fluids and oxygen, Toby was stabilized. Radiographs were taken, confirming non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, which is basically a pattern of fluid in the lungs that can result after drowning.  Drowning is any event that causes the victim to experience respiratory impairment after submersion in liquid. The x-ray shows the fluid that had accumulated in his lungs. 

Toby stayed at our hospital for several days, where he was monitored round-the-clock by veterinarians and nurses. In addition to continuing Intravenous fluid therapy, he was given antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial pneumonia, which often results in cases of drowning.  He also received oxygen supplementation in a specialized oxygen tank.

The puppy improved every day and eventually was well enough to go home.  Our doctors instructed the family to bring Toby back for a re-check in three days. When new radiographs were taken after his discharge from the hospital his lungs were completely clear! His happy owners reported that he was back to his playful, sweet self.  Everyone at Newtown Veterinary Specialists was very pleased with Toby’s excellent recovery.

If your pets have access to a pool or natural bodies of water this summer, please consider the following safety tips:

1.       Gate your pool so that pets do not have unsupervised access.

2.       Monitor pets at all times when they are around natural bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, streams, ocean, etc.

3.       Have your pet wear a special life jacket when they will be at risk of drowning (boat trips, trips to the lake, etc.).

4.       If your pets have never been swimming, consider accompanying them into a shallow area of water where you can safely stand to help them become accustomed to swimming.

5.       If your pet appears to be drowning, exercise extreme caution when attempting a rescue. When possible, use pool nets or flotation devices to assist with the rescue.  A struggling pet can easily pull you under.

6.       If your pet has been involved in a drowning incident, seek emergency veterinary help immediately. Newtown Veterinary Specialists is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.