Regina vet clinic helps fire fighters treat rescued pets

Fire fighters will soon get pet-specific oxygen masks, which could make a life or death difference for rescue animals.

Albert North Vet Clinic is fundraising to get pet-specific oxygen masks into fire trucks

Scruffie, a model pooch on hand to show how the device works, is fitted with a specially-designed oxygen mask by a Saskatoon firefighter. ((CBC))

Fire fighters in Regina will soon be adding another tool to their medical kit- pet-specific oxygen masks.

Currently, they only have human-sized equipment to use on animals after rescuing them from a house fire.

"We hook it up close to their mouth, but without a tight seal it's not as effective," Regina fire fighter Joe Felix said Wednesday.

Albert North Vet Clinic is behind the move to change that. Jennifer Oldfield from the clinic says they're fundraising for oxygen masks that are made specifically for a cat, dog, or even a ferret. 

"A human mask is triangular, fits our face perfectly to cover our mouth and nose," Oldfield said. "Whereas in an animal, those masks, especially those with a longer muzzle, don't cover the entire mouth and that's what is ideal."

Felix says specialized masks could make a big difference for a pet suffering smoke inhalation after rescue.

"A tighter seal for the pets that will give them the same benefit of having all the oxygen and getting a full breath of air," Felix said.

The kits cost $150 each and the clinic hopes to raise enough money for six sets.

It also plans to match the money raised, providing 12 kits total for the fire department.