Vets and nurses battle to save dogs caught up in horror house fire
Last Updated: 21/03/2023
A team of vets and nurses faced a 10-hour fight to save lives after a horror house fire involving eight dogs.
Firemen pulled several animals from the inferno and tried to revive them with oxygen before police put in an urgent call in the middle of the night to South Lincs Vets.
Night vet Nancy Brown dashed to the property near Boston to triage the stricken Labradors before the seven worst affected were rushed back to the practice.
Fellow emergency vet Nina Blackmore then faced what she called “the worst shift of my life” as she led a team in a lengthy battle to save them.
Sadly, the two with the most severe burns and lung damage had to be put to sleep.
But five were brought back from the brink of death and, with the permission of the owner, were safely transferred to the care of an animal charity.
After stabilising a number of the dogs who were in a critical state on the scene, they were transferred to South Lincs’ veterinary hospital in Sutterton, Boston for urgent care.
“Most of the seven dogs, who were all adults, were able to walk in but they had severe injuries and they deteriorated rapidly,” said Nina.
“With smoke inhalation, the carbon monoxide binds to the red blood cells and stops oxygen being delivered properly. The burns and swelling on the airways of the ones that were worst affected were causing real problems.
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“We were trying to get as much oxygen in as we could, while delivering high doses of pain relief.”
Tragically, despite non-stop care, it wasn’t possible to save two of the dogs. And even the dogs who hadn’t seemed as badly affected, started to go downhill.
“We were just trying to go from one to another, giving as much oxygen to each as we could,” said Nina. “The hardest bit was losing the two dogs, but at one stage I thought we might lose at least a couple more.
“I honestly wondered how it was going to end and how many would be left.
“But every one of the team was amazing, with our nurses looking after the critical ones and noticing every change.
“After 10 hours we were finally able to get the last patient stable and off the table and I’m so happy we were able to save the five dogs.
“It was all very emotional and quite traumatic. I’m proud to be at a practice able to take in so many dogs and have the equipment and expertise to treat them all while still dealing with a normal busy day of cases.”
South Lincs Vets is part of My Family Vets, a nationwide network of veterinary practices and referral hospitals.
After further treatment, the dogs were taken in by local charity Albies Friends and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help towards their care and re-homing.