Dr. Zach Ricker, Resident in Small Animal Surgery, recently saved a small dog from a burning house.
Driving through Stillwater, he noticed smoke coming from a home. As he approached, flames were shooting from the burning building. He and a neighbor, who called 911, raced toward the structure yelling to see if anyone was trapped inside. As they broke windows and kicked in the front door trying to determine if the owners were home, a small dog ran out of the house.
The family came home shortly after and was distraught over another dog still trapped inside. As firefighters worked to control the fire, Dr. Ricker offered his veterinary services to Latisha and Tresy Germany should that dog be recovered and need medical attention. The second dog didn't survive the fire. However, later that evening, Latisha called Dr. Ricker saying that Dixie, the 7-month-old female Pit Bull, was having trouble breathing and didn't look well.
Latisha and Tresy met Dr. Ricker in the parking lot of a local restaurant, where he was having dinner, and he examined the dog. It was evident that Dixie's respiratory rate was increasing and she didn't look well. He called Dr. Shelly Marquardt in Emergency Care at the Teaching Hospital and admitted the dog. Dr. Marquardt, an Intern in Small Animal Medicine, treated the dog for smoke inhalation. On Monday, Dr. John Hoover, professor in Small Animal Medicine and Exotics and Wildlife Medicine, took over the case with Will Sims, a 4th year veterinary student assigned to the case. Dixie was treated with IV fluids and kept on oxygen until she fully recovered and was reunited with her family.
“Will was so patient with us. We had so many questions—mainly was our dog going to live,” says Latisha. “We had lost one dog in the fire and we couldn't bear the thought of losing her, too. We are over whelmed with the help OSU’s Veterinary Hospital has given us. Everyone was great and we appreciate everything they have done. They were huge in helping us through a very difficult time.”
Thanks to Dr. Ricker going the extra mile and the care provided by the Veterinary Hospital team of faculty, students and staff, the owners have a safe and very alive dog!