TULSA — When you own a dog - they own your heart, and many owners will do just about anything to keep their pet happy and healthy.
Meet Coale the beagle - a sweet senior citizen who loves going to doggy daycare.
But when his owners dropped him off recently... He wasn't himself.
"When you feel that distended belly that can be a few things," Nancy Gallimore, co-owner of Pooches said. "When the gum color is white instead of pink you know you could have internal bleeding."
Gallimore noticed something was wrong right away.
She has run her business - Pooches Daycare - for more than a dozen years - caring for hundreds of dogs.
"So, I ran out into the parking lot like a crazy person because Christine and Lawson Adams were leaving and I knew that we had something more serious than a tummy upset," Gallimore said.
"And she felt it was very, very important that we get an ultrasound right away," Lawson said.
Coale's owners rushed him straight to Dr. Troy McNamara at the Animal Emergency Center.
"He had a mass on his spleen had ruptured which allowed the blood to go into the abdominal cavity," Dr. McNamara said.
It turned out to be a three-pound tumor.
Coale's owners were devastated.
"It's like your own family. We don't have any kids so he and Harley are our boys, you know," Lawson said.
Doctors said Coale needed one more thing - a blood transfusion.
And that's where Chyppe came in.
Chippye is a beautiful boxer, but he's also a blood donor and saving other dogs in emergencies.
Tracy Hendrickson runs the Canine Blood Bank in Tulsa - and with her dogs - and others volunteered by their owners - has helped save many lives.
"Usually on a phone call we can be at a clinic in 30-90 minutes to help with surgery, an animal hit by a car, gunshot wounds or cancer problems," Hendrickson said.
Coale survived - but many dogs in his condition - die unexpectedly.
His owners are feeling very blessed that his tumor wasn't cancer.
A lot of things had to come together that day," Lawson said. "A lot of caring and professional people that are very passionate about what they do."
Between an experienced vet, a canine blood donor, his dedicated owner, and a sharp-eyed dog daycare professional - Coale survived.
And though he's a little wobbly at times, he's very happy to head home with the family that loves him.
This type of tumor is fairly common in older dogs - and can bring one down in hours because there really aren't many warning signs.
So all of those involved say - be proactive about your pet's heath.
If your dog doesn't seem right, it never hurts to have them looked at sooner rather than later.
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