Vodka turned out to be the remedy for saving the life of a puppy in Australia that had lapped up toxic antifreeze in its owner's garage.
The 9-week-old American Staffordshire female, "Cleo," was found crying earlier this month in a disorientated state by its owner, Stacy Zammit, who rushed the terrier to an emergency veterinary clinic in Melbourne.
"She was giving us a bit of a scare because she was really disorientated, she couldn't stand straight, she'd fall over," said Zammit in an interview with NBC local affiliate KXAN
Attending veterinarian Matt Pascall administered vodka via an IV drip through the animal's nose to "mop up" the toxins in the antifreeze. The bottle of vodka had been a Christmas gift to Pascall and he happened to have it lying around the office.
"There's toxins in [antifreeze] called ethylene glycol and they're very, very harmful to the kidneys. So what we need to do is give them alcohol and in this case, we gave her vodka to try and mop up some of those toxins," said Pascall in an interview with KXAN.
The dog continued to receive the vodka-drip for two more days. It would have been a lot of alcohol for a human.
"If we put it in human terms, for me, it would be the equivalent of having seven or eight shots every four hours," Pascall said.
If untreated, the dog was hours away from kidney failure that would have killed it, Pascall said.
After just few days of the treatment, the dog was back on its feet and has since returned home where it is doing well, Zammit said. Pascall's bottle of vodka used in the treatment has since been replaced.
In a similar case, British physicians saved a 77-year-old man's life in December when they pumped him with pure ethanol, used to make alcohol, to intentionally kill off part of his heart, The Daily Mail reported
Suffering from a disturbance in the heart's rhythm, cardiologists employed the rare treatment to induce a controlled heart attack. Without the procedure, doctors claimed the man would have died.
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