Hair of the dog: Vodka drip saves puppy’s life

Posted at 7:04 AM, Jan 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-15 07:04:55-05

MELBOURNE, Australia (WTVR) - A nine-week old puppy is back in good health after nearly dying from anti-freeze poisoning. The unusual cure credited with her survival: straight vodka.

Cleo, an American Staffordshire, was a much-beloved Christmas gift for Stacy Zammit this year. But just two weeks after being brought home, the dog began behaving strangely.

"She was giving us a bit of a scare because she was really disorientated, Zammit said. "She couldn't stand straight, she'd fall over."

During the night, Cleo got worse, refusing food and constantly crying. Zammit decided to rush her to the vet.

There she learned the only cure for coolant poisoning -pure alcohol. Cleo was fed vodka via a drip that ran in through her nose and into her stomach, consuming a third of the bottle over the course of three days.

"If we put it in human terms, for me it would be the equivalent of having 7 or 8 shots every four hours," said Veterinarian Matt Pascall.

"There's toxins in that called etholyn-glycol and they're very, very harmful to the kidneys," Pascall said. "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."