Poodle rescued after paw stuck in bathtub drain for 16 hours

ByNicole Linsalata, WSVN
Friday, July 29, 2022
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It took a veterinarian, a plumber and a vet tech 16 hours to free a Florida dog whose paw got stuck in a drain pipe while getting a bath.

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- It's not uncommon for dogs to hate baths but you're about to meet one who has good reason to protest.

Rocco the poodle spent 16 hours stuck in a tub after his paw got stuck in a drain.

He's lucky he had a team of professionals working to free him.

Sometimes when your dog needs help, you need not only a vet but a plumber, too.

At least little Rocco did.

The poodle's owner gave him a bath in her tub Tuesday night when he got his tiny paw stuck in the drain.

"I tried to take him out, he wouldn't come out of the tub," Rocco's owner, Margo Blake, recalled.

Well maybe not so tiny, because no matter what his owner tried, she couldn't get it out.

"It was frightening. It was scary because it's like you're helpless," Blake said. "I was calling different vets and people thought I was joking like my dog's paw, they were like click."

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Blake was having a hard time finding someone who could help Rocco, until she got ahold of Victoria Park Animal Hospital, WSVN reported.

"We said, 'of course, let's get out there and see what we can do,'" said veterinarian, Dr. Alison Birken.

Blake also called a plumber from Rangers Maintenance and operation rescue Rocco was on.

"The drain has almost like a wheel of metals and it got stuck between almost a circular metal piece," Dr. Birken explained.

"So we went ahead and gave a sedative and that tried to help a little bit, but no matter how we tried to manipulate, he would wake up so we had to give a little bit more," said Brittnne Bennett, a vet tech supervisor.

The plumbers tried to go in from the side, exposing the pipes, but that didn't work either.

So they basically had to dig the drain out.

"So the vet was like, be careful because how you're chiseling, his toe, because he was so sensitive," Blake said.

"His toes were stuck in that little ring center where the stopper would have gone in," Bennett said.

"Even when we got the dog out of the bathtub, we still had to get the actual piece off the dog, so then we had to further go and cut that," Dr. Birken said.

It worked! And about 16 hours after his ordeal began, Rocco is fine and recuperating.

While he relaxes, the humans are feeling pretty good.

Dr. Birken said this is the first time she's ever seen a situation like this.

"This is my first, this is a good story," she said.

"Today was great. This is what I live for. It's community. It really is community. Everybody's intention was to rescue Rocco," Bennett added.

Rangers Maintenance said they've also never seen a plumbing problem like this before.

While Rocco continues his recovery, Blake is left with the problem of fixing her tub.