Five dogs that were rescued from a kennel fire in Middletown on Christmas Eve were released Tuesday after receiving specialized treatments to improve breathing.
The beagles are a part of the Middletown Valley Beagles — a private hunting pack — and are housed on a farm on Marker Road. The fire started in a detached building on the farm that killed 15 dogs and several other animals. Sixteen other dogs survived without serious injury.
The five injured hounds were treated at CARE Veterinary Center on West Patrick Street, where they received extensive care for burns and hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment from smoke inhalation.
The hyperbaric treatment is painless and non-invasive. It accelerates recovery while limiting the risk of infection by increasing air pressure three times higher than normal air pressure, according to the Mayo Clinic. This allows the lungs to gather more oxygen to fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances, which aids in healing.
The dogs had hyperbaric treatment last week, then went home for a few days and came back early this week for more treatment, according to CARE veterinarian Kelly Gellasch. Each treatment takes from 60 to 90 minutes. The dogs were also treated for burns, which Gellasch said ranged from mild to severe.
The dogs are being cared for in homes of members of the club, according to Amy Farber, a member of Middletown Valley Beagles. She added that the surviving beagles are still on the farm in kennels that were untouched by the fire.
“Everybody is so appreciative of the work that the vets have done,” she said. “They came by and visited the beagles and have been checking on them and helping us get them medicated.”
Gellasch said the dogs are in the middle of treatments, which includes more hyperbaric treatments and minor wound care for the next few weeks. Scar tissue can develop from the wounds, which can inhibit movement, and there may not be hair regrowth in the treated areas, but Gellasch is optimistic that the dogs will be fully functional after treatment.
“They seem to be recovered from any respiratory problems,” she said. “As far as long-term concerns from burns, it depends on how they heal. But they are doing pretty good. They are eating and seem to be pretty comfortable.”