GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The Grand County Search and Rescue Crew saved an 80-pound dog that had become extremely sick from altitude sickness near Crater Lake.
According to GCSAR, crews received a call at 6:11 p.m. on Saturday from a group hiking near Crater lake on the Cascade Creek Trail asking for assistance for their 80-pound dog. The dog was refusing to walk out from the overnight trip.
GCSAR said that two campers, who were from Oklahoma, were able to hike out to cell service and request assistance. The other camper stayed with the dog 3.5 miles up from Monarch Lake.
After crews received the call, seven members responded to the sick pup. Five crew members entered the trail at 8:27 p.m. and made contact with the owner and dog at 10:30 p.m.
According to the team’s incident commander, the Staffordshire Terrier mix was “extremely sick and lethargic with altitude sickness, and wouldn’t even raise their head to acknowledge rescuers.”
The rescue team loaded the terrier into their dog rescue harness and the team split in two to help the pup get down as quickly as possible. According to GCSAR, three members carried the dog down, and two members stayed with the owner to pack up their camp.
Once the dog and crew arrived at a lower altitude, the pup perked up and was able to walk on its own.
GCSAR said the crew made the right call because the dog would not have made it out on its own power. All crews were out of the field at 1:15 a.m.
GCSAR is using this situation as a reminder to visitors from low-altitude states that altitude sickness can affect anyone, even dogs. Advanced stages of high altitude sickness can be deadly. The best treatment is to always move to lower elevations.