REDDING, Calif. - A Shasta County woman says it's a miracle her dog is alive.
Nancy Salyer's quick-thinking to perform CPR on her dog Stella is what veterinarians say saved the dog's life. Salyer is hoping her story serves as a lesson for other pet owners.
It was back in March that 5-year-old Stella had an allergic reaction to her heartworm medication. When Salyer found Stella, she was barely breathing.
"I knew she didn't feel good, and if I had jumped out and realized she could die, I just thought she was nauseated from the medication. I didn't realize vomiting in a dog can mean anaphylaxis so I just felt guilty and horrible and thought this is not going to happen we can fix this," Salyer said.
Salyer is an intensive care unit nurse at Shasta Regional Medical Center so her first instinct was to perform CPR, something veterinarian Chavon Pryor said saved Stella.
"With her medical knowledge she probably went ahead and started CPR and got her dog breathing again, it's incredible," said Dr. Pryor.
Dr. Pryor said it's important for pet owners to know life saving skills like CPR.
"You can help you save your dog in a time of emergency," said Dr. Pryor.
Dr. Pryor works at Above and Beyond Animal Care in Bella Vista. She said CPR on dogs is more difficult than humans, but it's just as vital.
"Check airway, breathing, respiration; are we breathing, is your heart circulating, what's going on make sure nothing is stuck in the throat and then start performing CPR," said Dr. Pryor.
It is also recommended to get your dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible so a medical expert can take over. Salyer performed CPR for about an hour before she arrived at the hospital, and feels lucky Stella pulled through.
"Most critters would not have an hour of CPR much less come back as well as she has," said Dr. Pryor.
Salyer has been a nurse for 27 years and helping animals for more than 30 years. The pet owner said she'd do anything for her rescued animals including 27 cats and six dogs because they mean so much to her.
"They're my family, I live alone out here, alone as you can be with a million critters around," said Salyer.
Dr. Pryor recommends you consult your veterinarian for instructions and advice.
For more information on CPR for dogs visit: http://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_cardiopulmonary_resuscitation