A new mum's special first Mother's Day with her baby daughter turned into a nightmare after her beloved pet Husky collapsed and even stopped breathing altogether.
Rachel Armstrong – dog mum to an adorable Husky named Heidi – was left stood outside the veterinary clinic "in floods of tears" following the traumatic experience.
But miracle dog Heidi was incredibly brought back from the dead by animal vet Susana Jauregui, who described it as "one of the most dramatic days of her career".
Against all the odds, Susana brought her back to life — performing CPR as she lay lifeless in a car, her body rigid, her pupils dilated.
The drama began when Heidi became 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 set off for Vets Now 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 shouting desperately for help, the senior vet came rushing out of the clinic.
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.
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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.
The vet, along with veterinary nurse Emer Holtby, then carried Heidi, who weighed 32kg, into the clinic past a crowd of well-wishers who had gathered to see what was going on.
After connecting her to the oxygen machine and giving her another round of compressions, Heidi’s heartbeat became stronger and she began breathing as well.
They then administered fluids and ran some tests.
On what she thinks could have caused the incident, senior vet Susana said: “We identified it was very likely hypocalcaemia which 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.”
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After being kept in overnight, Heidi was transferred to a daytime vet practice before being allowed home.
And now, remarkably, 12-year-old Heidi has made a full recovery.
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."
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Rachel and Heidi’s bond is incredibly special, with the owner describing her as her "baby".
She said: "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.
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"And now Hannah’s here, Heidi watches over her like she’s her protector. It’s like the two of them have a bond together."
Heidi is still undergoing tests to find what may have triggered the collapse.
Rachel added: "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."
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