Dog suffering from altitude sickness rescued from Colorado trail

A member of Grand County's search and rescue team carries 80 pounds of dog on its back during a...
A member of Grand County's search and rescue team carries 80 pounds of dog on its back during a rescue mission on Oct. 8, 2022.(Grand County Search and Rescue)
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 9:52 AM MDT
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GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - A recent rescue in Colorado serves as an important reminder that altitude sickness isn’t limited two-legged hikers!

Over the weekend, Grand County Search and Rescue (GCSAR) had to carry a dog down a trail after it began suffering severe lethargy and other symptoms.

“A hiking party was requesting assistance for situation involving an 80-pound dog that was refusing to walk out from an overnight at Crater Lake on the Cascade Creek Trail,” Grand County said in a social media post. “... The dog was extremely sick and lethargic with altitude sickness. Wouldn’t even raise head to acknowledge rescuers.”

The team was able to load the pup onto a dog rescue harness, then began the trek to lower elevation.

“The team split in two to get the dog down ASAP,” Grand County Search and Rescue wrote. “Three members began carrying dog down, two members stayed with subject to pack up camp. The dog was a Staffordshire Terrier mix, 80 pounds of pure muscle and super sweet. As the dog got to a lower altitude he perked up and was able to walk on his own. The team manufactured some socks for his sore feet.”

GCSAR says the hikers absolutely made the right call in contacting them, allowing this story to end as a happy “tail.”

“The dog and owner were extremely grateful for our help. The crew definitely feels it was the right call to help, that the dog would not have made it out on his own power and that the owner would not have been able to get him out. The friend that hiked out for help also had altitude sickness.”

And it’s an important reminder to keep in mind when venture out with our pups!

“GCSAR would like to remind visitors from low altitude that high altitude sickness can affect anybody, including dogs, traveling to higher altitudes without acclimatization. Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath and inability to exercise. In a more advanced stage high altitude sickness can be life threatening. The best emergency treatment is to move the patient to lower altitude.”