Yet another reason to snuggle up with your dog tonight. Over 50 years ago, a dog going into cardiac arrest was instrumental in the discovery of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
From the BBC:
In the 1950s, the Edison Electric Institute in the US decided to sponsor researchers to investigate the effects of electrical currents on the heart.
Enter Guy Knickerbocker, a fastidious, 29-year-old graduate working under electrical engineer William Kouwenhoven in one of the labs at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. They were trying to improve the external defibrillator, which Kouwenhoven had invented a few years earlier.
In 1958, before the ethical treatment of animals became a serious consideration, their experiments involved testing on laboratory dogs.
Knickerbocker, now 86 years old, remembers working with a colleague one day when, suddenly, one of the dogs went into cardiac arrest, or ventricle fibrillation (VF).
Normally when this happened, they would use a defibrillator to shock the dog's heart back into rhythm - but that day they were in the lab on the 12th floor and the equipment was on the fifth floor.