One puppy had a “miraculous” escape after falling 40 feet off a bridge into a frozen river.
Eleven-month-old Monty fell through the ice that covered the River Ayr in Prestwick, Scotland, while his owners could only watch in horror.
Owner Phil Hobbins jumped in the water to save his dog – then took him to a pet emergency clinic for help.
Mr Hobbins said his family was out for a walk when Monty ran to the 19th century Oswald Bridge, slipped and fell into the water.
“There are no cars and it’s a rural walk so we didn’t think anything of it,” he said.
“But it was frosty and when he jumped up to look at the water, he slipped and fell over the edge.
“He dropped at least 40 feet on the ice and went into the water.
“That was supposed to be a fatal fall and if he’d gone over the middle section where it was pretty rocky downstairs, it would have been.
“But he went over at one end where there was ice and water, which must have given him a chance.”
With a cool head, Mr. Hobbins took Monty, a Lagotto Romagnolo, to the Vets Now clinic in Kilmarnock.
The puppy received blood transfusions to keep him alive.
“Panic had really started because his breathing was so shallow and slow,” he said.
“We were all upset and scared and the nurse looked at it, picked it up and sprinted inside with him.”
Senior Vet Simon Patchett said, “(Monty’s) gums were white and his chest sounds were very abnormal.
“We did an X-ray and an ultrasound and found that he had significant internal bleeding.
“His chest filled with large amounts of blood and air, which made his breathing difficult, and we urgently needed to take care of it.
“We put drains in his chest, removed the blood that had accumulated, and transferred that blood back into his veins.”
After treatment, Monty made a full recovery and was able to return home four days later.
“When we picked him up he was wagging his tail and it was full of beans,” said Mr. Hobbins.
“It was so emotional. He’s a big part of our family and kept us busy during the entire curfew.
“It’s an absolute miracle he survived the fall that should have killed him. And we know he wouldn’t be with us now if it wasn’t for Simon.
“We’ll never be able to thank him enough for what he did.”