Hero dog saves canine friend

Tyler Clarke
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Exposed to rat poison, a young dog was on her deathbed last week -- that was, until Solomon came to the rescue.


Almost a week later, both Solomon and his canine colleague are back to their playful selves.

“He’s a hero, and he was able to save a lives, and that’s what we’re all about -- saving lives and changing lives,” Prince Albert SPCA manager Debbie Lehner said of the one-and-a-half-year-old German shepherd.

Oblivious to his heroic deed, Solomon playfully bounced about the SPCA property on Tuesday- under surveillance since the energetic pup has enough strength to leap over their fence.

Animal control brought Solomon to the Prince Albert SPCA on Sept. 24 -- “Just a stray off the streets,” SPCA assistant manager Leanne Roberts said.

“He’s the type of dog that probably, based on what you see with his behaviour now, was a cute little puppy that someone got and they tied him up to his dog house and he grew up and didn’t have a lot of time spent with him.

“He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body, but he doesn’t know what affection is (and) he doesn’t know what toys are -- those are things he’s going to have to learn.”

On Oct. 17, a female Labrador cross came in to Park Range Veterinary Services near closing time, suffering from symptoms of rat poison exposure.

The usual veterinary response is to have the dog vomit out as much poison as possible and then administer vitamin K1, which reversed the blood clotting effect of the poison.

With blood clotting, “You bleed out where you normally would bump or bruise,” veterinarian Tom Avey explained.

Unfortunately, the young Labrador’s owners didn’t realize she had consumed rat poison until it was too late for this measure.

Instead, a blood transfusion was deemed necessary -- a rare measure Avey said is only done a couple times per year at Park Range Veterinary Services.

Turning to the Prince Albert SPCA, staff selected Solomon due to his size (95 pounds), which is capable of providing the 500 ml of blood required.

He’s a hero, and he was able to save a lives, and that’s what we’re all about -- saving lives and changing lives. Prince Albert SPCA manager Debbie Lehner

Solomon proved an idea candidate, Avey said, noting that since it was just a one-off transfusion, veterinarians didn’t have to match blood types.

“He actually hopped off the table after we took the blood, went and ate a big meal and chewed on his bone, and was happy to be there,” he recalled.

Staff kept a close eye on the blood transfusion recipient into the evening -- a pup who by morning was on the road to recovery.

In a thank you letter to the Prince Albert SPCA, Avey joined Park Range Veterinary Services’ staff in calling Solomon a “hero.”

“He gave the gift of life to another dog he did not know or maybe even particularly like, but he did so because we asked,” the letter reads.

“Now, I ask anyone who thinks they may be able to return the favour by giving the gift of a new life to him, or to any of the other animals seeking homes.”

Solomon remains up for adoption at the Prince Albert SPCA, alongside a legion of other canines and felines in their care.

In addition to a call-out for adoptions, Lehner asks residents to keep an eye on household poisons.

“There are so many people who house antifreeze, rat poisons and whatnot, so I don’t think it’s uncommon,” she said. “Those are things that people to keep of each of pets as well as children.”

Pets can be viewed at the Prince Albert SPCA’s current facility at 680 Exhibition Drive, which can be contacted by phone at 306-763-6110 and perused online at www.princealbertspca.com. 

Organizations: Park Range Veterinary Services

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