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Groomer revives dog with CPR after cardiac arrest

A dog groomer went to extreme measures over the weekend to save a dog that died right on the grooming table. Lola is alive and well, thanks to the groomer's quick action. (WCHS/WVAH)

A dog groomer went to extreme measures over the weekend to save a dog that died right on the grooming table. That dog is alive and well, thanks to the groomer's quick action.

"She just went limp. There was no breath. There was no heartbeat, there was no nothing,” Groomer, Karly Milligan said.

Between Lola's shave and bath, she started turning blue until finally just collapsing on the table.

"I yelled to Vanessa across the room, and I said Vanessa my dog just died, she's not breathing. I'm getting no response from her, she was completely limp when I picked her up. There was no response," Milligan said.

"I just asked her what she wanted me to do, assisted her and helped her as best I could, and you know she was running it," Groomer, Vanessa Stunkard said.

Karly immediately started CPR.

"Even before I hit the floor I started doing compression... After two minutes you just don't think it's gonna happen," Milligan said. "I was not going to let the dog die in my care. I was not going to take something from somebody else, because she's had that dog for eight years...She went through high school and college, and now has babies and had the dog the entire time, so I wasn't going to allow myself or anyone to call an owner and say 'hey we lost your dog today'."

Finally she felt Lola's heart start beating again.

"You watched the color come back into her tongue and her gums and her eyes, so we stood her up and made sure she was okay... I cried like a baby when I felt that heartbeat come back, it was so surreal," Milligan said.

The veterinarian determined Lola had an diagnosed heart murmur and an enlarged heart

"It just means the world to me that Karly was quick enough to jump in and start administering CPR. Many people could have froze up and panicked, but she didn't," Stunkard said.

However, Stunkard said not all dog groomers have that kind of training.

"Hopefully this will make a change to where corporate grooming facilities will have it as a regulation to have to know CPR, and I'll be more than willing to be certified and take the extra time and classes to learn more to better myself to be able to take care of someone else's pet, because I would certainly want that for my own if I trusted them with somebody else," Stunkard said.

"The vet said definitely if I wouldn't have given her CPR as quickly as I did she wouldn't have made it," Milligan said.

Those suspenseful two and a half minutes may have extended Lola's life by years.

"Lola is playing and being a goofball, and so it's just wonderful. We saw a video of her today running and chasing her toys just like a pup," Milligan said.

Lola's owners did not want to go on camera, but they said they could not be more grateful for both groomers' quick actions that saved their dog's life.

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