Ohio FD medics revive overdosing puppy
A woman rushed the 12-week-old puppy to the fire station where medics administered naloxone using a pediatric nebulizer mask
By Laura French
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A 12-week-old puppy showing signs of an opioid overdose was revived by Ohio medics at a fire station last week.
A woman ran into the Columbus fire station late at night with the ailing puppy and told medics he had eaten something off the ground and went limp, according to a Facebook post by the Columbus Division of Fire. The puppy, named Elo, was in respiratory distress, had non-reactive pupils and was non-responsive to verbal and physical stimuli, which Columbus Fire Medic John Hagan called "classic signs of an opioid overdose."
Hagan and Paramedic Mike Canter, members of the Tactical Emergency Medical Service team, knew from police K9 training that naloxone was safe and effective for dogs but at first were unsure of how to administer it. They took Elo into their tactical medic truck and decided to use a pediatric nebulizer mask, and also administered oxygen due to the risk of hypoxia.
Elo became responsive in about four minutes and his respiratory condition improved. Eventually, he became alert and began playing with crewmembers at the station.
The medics recommended Elo's owner immediately go to the local 24-hour emergency veterinary service to ensure there weren't any lingering problems and said when they followed up with her the next day she said the puppy was doing great.
"I'm just so grateful that the medics didn't hesitate when they saw that Elo was a puppy. Many people make a big distinction between animals and humans when it comes to care," the owner, April Speakman, said in a statement. "John and Mike simply brought us into the truck and immediately started treating him."
Speakman said she has limited vision and Elo, a German Shepherd-Bull Mastiff mix, will be entering service dog training soon. She said she grew up remembering the fire station in her home town as a "safe place" and when she saw the station near where Elo collapsed she instinctively knew to bring him there.