A puppy that almost died from ingesting anti-freeze is alive and barking thanks to a treatment that was a treat: vodka.
The puppy, an American Staffordshire named Cleo, licked radiator fluid off spare car parts in a garage in Truganina, Australia, last week. Within 30 minutes, Cleo was swaying on her feet, rejecting food and at risk of kidney failure, according to News.com.au.
Cleo's owner, Stacey Zammit, 27, rushed her poisoned pooch to the vet, who said the dog was hours away from renal failure.
"It was only a [6.6-pound] dog, so it doesn't take much of the anti-freeze for it to become poisoned," veterinarian Scott Hall from Animal Accident and Emergency Point Cook told Ninemsn.com. "The owners were straight on top of the money. They realized straight away that things weren't right and came straight to us."
Alcohol stops a chemical reaction in the liver that causes kidney failure and while ethanol is usually the best treatment for anti-freeze poising, the vets used vodka that a nurse had stashed in her car. It was, in effect, the old "hair of the dog" treatment for the young pup.
The vodka was fed via drip through her nose and into her stomach. Cleo consumed more than a third of the bottle during her treatment.
"If we put it in human terms, for me it would be the equivalent of having seven or eight shots every four hours," veterinarian Matt Pascall said, according to WIVB.com.
Cleo is reportedly back to full health and is no longer on her vodka regimen.
Other animals have benefitted from the health-restoring benefits of booze in recent weeks.
Last month, circus trainers in Siberia claimed vodka helped save two elephants from frostbite and pneumonia after their trailer caught fire outside the city of Novosibirsk. The trainers were forced to take the animals out into the bitter cold before another truck arrived to deliver them to a warm gym at a local community college.