Diamond the pit bull is back in the arms of her owners Elrico Cann and Tiffany Johnson just a few days after she took a bite out of a live Portuguese Man O’ War and was left fighting for her life. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Diamond the pit bull is back in the arms of her owners Elrico Cann and Tiffany Johnson just a few days after she took a bite out of a live Portuguese Man O’ War and was left fighting for her life. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25: Diamond the pit bull is being called the ‘miracle dog’ by staff at Endsmeet Animal Hospital who helped to save her life.

And the fact is, she should really be dead after chomping down on a live Portuguese Man O’ War.

But thanks to extraordinary veterinary care and a slice of good fortune, she is now recovering well in the comfort of her home with owners Elrico Cann and Tiffany Johnson.

Mr Cann took Diamond for her morning swim at Admiralty House in Spanish Point last Friday.

When she got down to the dock she leapt into the sea and disappeared out of her owner’s sight.

The next thing Mr Cann heard was his pet whimpering and crying from the water.

The 22-year-old said: “She managed to swim back to the beach very slowly but she had the tentacles and stingers all around her mouth.

“Her mouth was all swollen up and she was making this horrible crying noise.

“She was breathing really heavy and I tried to wipe the tentacles away with my sleeve but she was in a really bad way.

“I did not know what to do. I was just in total shock. I thought she was going to die right there.”

Mr Cann rushed Diamond to Endsmeet in his car and carried the quivering dog into the reception area.

By this time she had gone into anaphylactic shock due to the toxins in the jellyfish’s stingers and her body was beginning to shut down.

Vet Jen Fullerton told the Sun that Diamond’s incredible recovery from death’s door was one of the most amazing cases she and the team at Endsmeet had ever been involved with.

She said: “When she came into us on Friday morning she was dying. We gave her oxygen, put her on a fluid drip and gave her drugs. But her lungs were filled up with fluid and she was blue.

“It was a fine balancing act between rehydrating her but not letting her drown in the fluid that was accumulating inside her.

“Her red blood cell count also climbed to a very dangerous level. We were surprised she made it through the first five minutes to be honest.

“I don’t think there was anyone there who thought she was going to make it.”

Endsmeet staff contacted poison experts and SPCA specialists in the U.S. in a bid to help the stricken dog.

Ms Fullerton added: “The reaction caused Diamond to develop an abnormal heart rhythm.

“We played that heart rhythm to a specialist in the U.S. and we were told they had never seen anything like it before.

“When we spoke to the SPCA expert in the U.S. they could not believe she was still alive. But we kept treating the symptoms and looking at the clinical picture. We gave Diamond a blood plasma transfusion and slowly she started to improve.”

Staff at Endsmeet continued to check up on Diamond through Friday night and by the morning she was able to sit up and walk short distances.

They continued to monitor the pit bull over the weekend before Mr Cann was allowed to pick up his pet on Monday morning.

Ms Fullerton added: “Cases like this are the reason we do this job.

“It really is a miracle that she survived. This is probably one of the coolest things we have ever been a part of at Endsmeet and it will go down in the books for a long time.

“Everyone was involved in this case and it was very much a team effort. Obviously this case shows dog owners need to be alert to potential dangers that live Portuguese Man O’ Wars can cause their pets.

“The consequences can be fatal.”

Mr Cann added: “I was so relieved to be able to pick her up and take her home.

“We honestly believed we had lost her. I have had her since she was a puppy and consider her like a child. I have a young son, and Diamond is like my son’s sister. It is amazing to have her home again.”