Dog nearly drowns in swimming pool, veterinarians urge caution

NewtonFORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Doctors from Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists are cautioning pet owners to implement swimming pool safeguards to protect their pets after treating a dog that almost drowned this week.

Newton, a 19-week-old, male cockapoo puppy, which resides in the Boca Raton area was rushed to LVS on Tuesday afternoon when his owner discovered him clutching the side of their backyard pool and displaying distressed breathing.

Newton’s owner, Debbie Anderson, said Newton was playing in the family’s backyard when he slipped into their swimming pool. Although it only took a matter of seconds for her to respond, she quickly realized that he had taken water into his lungs and needed medical assistance.

Upon arriving at LVS, doctors diagnosed that Newton’s lungs had taken in water. As a result, Newton required an extensive 36 hours of oxygen treatment, intravenous fluids and constant monitoring. He was released from LVS on Thursday afternoon.

Doctors from LVS recommend for pet owners to be vigilant, teach their pet how to use the pool’s steps, install a pool alarm, and build fencing around their pool area.

“We want to remind pet owners of the dangers that backyard pools present to pets. Far too often, we see pets that have drowned, that could have been prevented,” said Dr. Ira Zaslow, a board-certified specialist in veterinary emergency and critical care and medical director of Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists. “Pets of all ages can become disoriented when submerged in water and can’t always find a way to safety.”

Anderson is thankful that Newton is home safe, but wants other pet owners to learn from this example.

“If you have a pool, don’t take it for granted that your dog can swim because any pet can breathe in water if they become startled or alarmed,” said Anderson. “Just because you get your pet out of the water quickly doesn’t mean that they are okay, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.”

Some of Newton’s favorite activities include fetch, chewing, cuddling and exploring new play things.

While it was not needed in this incident, LVS has the only special long term high frequency ventilator in a private clinical practice in the US and Canada. This ventilator is used in these cases to save near drowning victims as well as patients with certain types of pneumonias. The high frequency ventilators allow the better deliver of oxygen to the patient while they are still able to remove the carbon dioxide and the inhaled water ingested from the swimming pool effectively. All this occurs while decreasing the danger of damaging the lung tissue at the level of gas exchange (alveolar space).

About Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists
Lauderdale Veterinary Specialists is a 24-hour veterinary emergency, critical care, referral hospital and imaging center serving Broward, Palm Beach and Miami Dade counties. Their services include: emergency, critical care, internal medicine, neurosurgery, neurology, ultrasound, CT-scan, digital radiography, bereavement counseling, as well as, soft tissue, orthopedic and reconstructive surgery. LVS can be reached at 954.641.1100 and is located at 3217 NW 10th Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309.


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