National Feed a Rescue Pet Week

The Worst Words That Any Pet Parent Could Hear

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A routine visit to the vet for Brittany Turnbill and her beloved Shih Tzu Sugar turned into a nightmare when technicians informed the woman her pet had been accidentally put to sleep.

When Turnbill arrived at her local vet in Columbus, Ohio, she only hoped to ask someone about Sugar’s ear infection. A grave mistake led one of the clinic’s technicians to administer a strong sedative used to euthanize animals instead of the medication Sugar only needed for her ear.

“We accidentally euthanized her, and she can die,” Turnbill said she was told.

Along with her lifeless dog’s body and an apology, Turnbill was given directions to the nearest emergency clinic and told to hurry.

Once at the 24-hour MedVet animal hospital, specialists rushed Sugar into the intensive care unit and began the complicated work of reviving the closest member of Turnbill’s immediate family, and her best friend. Unable to counteract the drugs in Sugar’s system, veterinarians could do nothing but keep the dog hydrated and hopefully breathing over the next 72 hours until they were safely filtered out.

Turnbill stayed by Sugar’s side throughout the ordeal, and saw the signs of life gradually return to her furry friend. At first, Turnbill noticed Sugar’s elevated heart rate when she spoke, followed by slight movement, and finally the response everyone had been waiting for. After three days, Sugar awoke feeling the call of nature, and as hungry as ever.

A potty break and can of baby food later, technicians checked Sugar for permanent brain damage with an EEG, and found little more than some short-term memory loss and an ulcer in one of her eyes. She was released with a fair amount of new Facebook friends, and an e-collar, which will be removed after her next check-up appointment.

Sugar’s story has been shared around social media by thousands who are upset that such an egregious mistake could have been made, but also elated for Sugar’s recovery and return home.

“Thank you to each and every one of you for praying and showing our family love and support during this horrible time. I am so thrilled to announce our daughter, Sugar was released today and came home!!!” Turnbill posted on March 9. “She is on 6 medications for her eye and 2 medications for her ear. Today she seemed even more like herself and we have a follow-up appointment in a week to check her eye. So far there seems to be no permanent damage thank you God! She does have to wear a cone until we go to the follow up appointment.”

“I cannot say Thank you enough for all of you, all over the world for your love, support and prayers. I cannot say Thank you enough for the wonderful Doctor’s and Staff at Med Vet Columbus, without them I wouldn’t have my baby back,” Turnbill went on. “Thank you to everyone for following our journey and helping to make our family whole again. Love to you all!”

The Animal rescue Site wishes the best to Sugar and the Turnbill family. For a happy ending of quite another sort, follow the button below and read about a trucker’s desperate trip to find his lost furry friend.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee. Find more about Matthew on his personal website.