CEDAR CITY, Utah – A quick-thinking EMT performed a Caesarean section on her dead Chihuahua to save the lives of three puppies.
Carolyn Shaw was at work two weeks ago when she received a call from her husband, saying their long-haired Chihuahua (search), Annie, was in labor and whimpering under the bed.
Shaw asked her ambulance partner Kori Baker, who also is her daughter-in-law, and a student intern riding along if they could stop by the house and check on the dog.
"After I did a quick check I realized she was dead," Barker said.
Shaw's instincts as an EMT (search) and nurse kicked in. She pulled out her stethoscope and listened to Annie's heart to search for some sign of life. There was no heartbeat but there was movement.
"I felt the babies moving inside of her," Shaw said.
Shaw rushed her pet into the kitchen with Barker and the student right behind.
"After she grabbed the knife I knew what she had in mind so I grabbed a few towels out of the drawer and handed one to the student," Barker said.
Shaw had a general idea of how to perform a C-section from watching physicians many times in the obstetrics unit at the local hospital, she said.
The first incision was like cutting leather. It took a second try to cut through the layers of skin and into the dog's belly to pull the amniotic sack out, Shaw said.
"I popped the sack and pulled the first baby out and handed it to my daughter-in-law, who had a kitchen towel ready," Shaw said.
She repeated the process with the second puppy and handed it off to the student. She kept the third puppy and all three of them began vigorously rubbing the tiny, limp bodies.
"It was like they were dead but we kept scrubbing and rubbing them to stimulate them and soon they started to open their mouths and began gasping," Shaw said. "I gave my little puppy CPR (search) with little breaths and chest compressions and as they all began opening their mouths, I checked them all, and they all had heartbeats."
The pups are now at home, where family and friends are caring for them. All three pups already have homes when they are old enough to leave.