Dogs are our new weapon against COVID-19

Animal doctor saves human stroke victim

A QUICK-thinking vet saved the life of fur mum Steph Usher when a stroke interrupted a check-up for her elderly pup Snoop.

The 17-year-old Maltese cross was being checked over by Dr Yari Mansia at Stratford's Ulysses Veterinary Clinic last month when Ms Usher became deathly ill.

"I couldn't breathe," Ms Usher said.

"I later found out I had a little stroke, a pulmonary embolism due to a small clot in my lungs," Ms Usher said.

"I am in for a long recovery.

"I had just put my dog on the vet's table and said 'Snoop is...' and that was it; I thought it was a heart attack.

"I still don't know how the clot formed in the first place."

It was a pure fluke that Ms Usher was the best place to have a stroke, other than a hospital.

"It was extremely scary, if I had not been at the vet when it happened, I probably would have died, I am very grateful to Dr Mansia," she said.

"It was quite scary and horrible."

Stroke victim Steph Usher, 70, survived a pulmonary embolism thanks to a random visit to the vet with her 17 year old dog Snoop. Picture: Stewart McLean
Stroke victim Steph Usher, 70, survived a pulmonary embolism thanks to a random visit to the vet with her 17 year old dog Snoop. Picture: Stewart McLean

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Dr Mansia quickly saw all was not well when a very pale Ms Usher faltered in his consultation room.

"We were five minutes into the consult with her dog and she started to hunch over and was struggling to breathe," Dr Mansia said.

"She started to sob; we grabbed some oxygen and placed her on a machine which checked her levels and they were very low.

"Her lips were purple and she started to experience chest pains."

Paramedics soon arrived and took Ms Usher from the vet to Cairns Hospital.

"Doctors told her if we didn't put her on the oxygen she probably would not have made it," Dr Mansia said.

"It was cool to say we were able to save someone's life."

A distressed Snoop was kept overnight at Ulysses.

"We kept him very comfortable, he was not a young whipper snapper and he wanted to stay near Steph."

Originally published as 'Extremely scary': How vet saved life of ailing fur mum


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