Veterinary Assistant Saves Choking Dog’s Life

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- A local man is being called a hero after he saved the life of a family's dog, and it was all caught on camera.

Nadia, a German Sheppard, was playing fetch with her owners when the ball disappeared. Her owners saw that she was struggling, and she passed out.

They took Nadia to the Fort Smith Animal Emergency Clinic where Justin Rouse works as a veterinary assistant and had shown up early for work.

“I saw some emergency flashers on their SUV and the back hatch was opened up, so I pulled in real quick, and I saw their dog kind of, I could see that it was kind of laying there, you know, it was lifeless,” Rouse said.

Rouse said he realized that Nadia had choked and the ball was still in her throat.

“I could feel the ball, so I pushed behind it and pushed up, and it lodged it out,” Rouse said.

Rouse still didn't know if Nadia even had a pulse, soo he took her inside the clinic to give her oxygen.

“Got her back up on the table, got a mask on her, and by that time she was starting to already come to, just let her kind of breathe some oxygen for awhile,” Rouse said.

He said other than a little irritation in her throat, Nadia was back to normal.

“When I came up front and told the owners, we told them she's good, she's fines, she's going to be OK,” Rouse said. “They were probably just as mind-blown as I was. I mean, I really was just as shocked that she came to, but yeah, everything worked out.”

Rouse said he has worked at the animal clinic for eight years and has never had an emergency like this one before.