Emergency vet Susana praised for resuscitating Heidi
Meet Heidi, the miracle dog who came back from the dead.
Loveable husky Heidi collapsed at home and her heart stopped on the way to our pet emergency clinic.
But, against all the odds, our vet brought her back to life — performing CPR as she lay lifeless in a car, her body rigid, her pupils dilated.
And now, remarkably, 12-year-old Heidi has made a full recovery.
The drama began when Heidi took unwell at home on Mother’s Day and slumped to the floor, gasping for breath and unable to move.
Heidi was still breathing when owner Rachel Armstrong set off for our clinic in Hull — a drive of just 10 minutes.
But by the time she arrived the much-loved pet had no pulse and her breathing had stopped.
After Rachel shouted desperately for help, our principal vet Susana Jauregui came rushing out of our clinic.
Wearing her full PPE kit, Susana went to the car Heidi had arrived in and carried out three sets of emergency compressions, pushing down with her hands on Heidi’s chest to try and get her heart restarted.
After each set, and with distraught Rachel getting more and more distressed, there was still no heartbeat to be detected.
But determined not to give up, Susana, crouching in the car boot, tried again, and this time it worked.
Susana detected a heartbeat — faint, weak, but a heartbeat nonetheless.
Then she climbed out of the car and, helped by veterinary nurse Emer Holtby, Susana scooped Heidi, who weighs 32kg, into her arms.
Aided by Emer, Susana carried Heidi into our pet emergency clinic past a crowd of well-wishers who had gathered in the street to see what was going on.
Susana said: “Once we got Heidi into the clinic, we placed a tube, connected to an oxygen machine, into her windpipe to get air to her vital organs.
“Then we gave her one more round of compressions. We finally obtained a more spontaneous heartbeat, and Heidi began breathing as well.
“Next we administered fluids and ran some tests.
“We identified it was very likely hypocalcaemia that had caused her cardiac arrest. Hypocalcaemia is a calcium deficiency, sometimes caused by gland failure, which can lead to tremors or collapse.
“We gave her calcium and after being on oxygen for an hour she started to regain consciousness.”
Susana and Emer kept Heidi under observation overnight and the next morning, with Heidi’s condition slowly improving, she was transferred to her daytime practice for further tests before being declared well enough to go home.
Rachel said: “I can honestly say this was the longest 24 hours of my life.
“This all happened on Mother’s Day — my first Mother’s Day with my little girl Hannah — and I was stood outside the clinic in floods of tears while Susana tried to start Heidi’s heart.
“I’ve had Heidi since she was four when I adopted her from the Siberian Husky Welfare Association and the fact she’s a rescue dog makes me care about her even more.
“The thought of losing her is just too heartbreaking to bear.
“I never thought I would be able to have kids — so until Hannah came along Heidi was my baby.
“And now Hannah’s here, Heidi watches over her like she’s her protector. It’s like the two of them have a got bond together.
“I was warned there was a high chance of possible brain damage to Heidi because her brain had been without oxygen – but luckily that’s not happened.
“We’re still not totally sure what caused Heidi’s collapse in the first place and she’s still due to have some more tests.
“But the main thing is that she’s totally fine and that’s because of Susana, who did such an amazing job bringing Heidi back to life.
“Thank you Susana, if it wasn’t for you, Heidi wouldn’t be here today.”
Susana said: “We’re so pleased Heidi has recovered totally from her ordeal. It was one of the most dramatic days of my career — and it’s not a day I’m going to forget in a hurry.“
All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site.
We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.
While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies, like Heidi’s, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns you might have.
If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, Vets Now will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.