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Dog ‘back from the dead’ after heart stops for 20 minutes

The three-year-old Springer Spaniel was fitted with a doggy pacemaker after his ordeal.

Kurt: Brought back to life by vets in Edinburgh.

A miracle dog was ‘brought back to life’ after his heart stopped beating for 20 minutes.

Kurt, a three-year-old Springer Spaniel was saved by vets, at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in Edinburgh.

The adorable pooch was in the care of the vets after being rushed in by his owner when he collapsed out on a walk.

On their advice, owner Simon Reed, 37, then raced from his home in Hull, East Yorkshire, to the specialist in the capital.

Kurt was diagnosed with toxoplasma myocarditis – a heart disease said to be rarely found in dogs – and was due to have a pacemaker installed.

But before the life-saving op could be performed, Kurt’s heart stopped beating for 20 minutes before vets were able to revive him with a defibrillator.

Kurt, whose successful revival was described by vets as “rare”, is now back home with Simon and showing no long-term effects.

Reunited: Kurt was in the animal hospital for four weeks.

Simon said: “Our dog minder had  been looking after a dog with kennel cough, so we took Kurt to the vets to get vaccinated – we thought his symptoms were just side effects of that.

“The next day I was walking him and I threw the ball and he went for it, but when he was coming back he collapsed.

“He got up straight away, so I wasn’t sure if he had just slipped and fallen or actually collapsed.

“The next day he was absolutely fine but I took him to the vets and they found that his heartbeat was down to 22bpm – they said it should be around 80bpm.

“The vet was really worried and said we needed to take him to a specialist right away.

“I got him to a specialist vet who did lots of tests on him and an EKG but his first words to me were ‘can you get to Edinburgh?’, so I knew it was something serious.”

Dedicated: Simon drove five hours to take Kurt to a specialist in Edinburgh.

Dedicated Simon drove almost five hours to get Kurt to vets in Edinburgh, who whisked him away, diagnosed him with heart disease and scheduled him to have a pacemaker fitted the next day.

Simon said: “The vets pushed to get him an operation the next morning because it was so serious.

“The morning of the operation, the vets went round to see him and they think he just got so excited to see people that his heart stopped.

“His heart was stopped for 20 minutes while they tried to bring him back around using a defibrillator.

“They took him straight for surgery after that but it didn’t go as well as they had hoped, they think because of the massive trauma he had suffered before it.

“They said they would keep him in for ten days, but a week in they called me and said his heart was still beating irregularly.

“He had to go for a second operation because of his damaged heart.”

Little Kurt was kept in for four weeks after his operation in March.

But he is now on the mend and has just had a six-month check-up with the Edinburgh vets who have praised his speedy recovery.

Simon, who works for a shoe company, said: “He had to spend two weeks on ‘cage rest’ which was very challenging because he just wants to sit and cuddle with you.

Craig Breheny, one of the vets who helped with the resuscitation, said: “Kurt’s heart disease was likely due to an infection.

“In these cases, it is very rare for the patient’s heart to suddenly stop beating, and even more rare for them to be resuscitated successfully.

“We are very proud of the ICU team’s quick and appropriate actions, which allowed us to restart Kurt’s heart, and we are delighted that he is doing so well.”


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