BRANSON, Mo. – A local dog is being hailed a hero after alerting others that his owner was having a stroke. It ended up possibly saving one man’s life. 

The fast action of getting help for the man is something doctors hope every stroke patient can receive.

Dr. Benjamin Lisle with the CoxHealth Comprehensive Stroke Center said only a small number of stroke patients get to the hospital in time to be considered for acute treatment.

“One is tPA, a medication that breaks up blood clots,” said Lisle. “We have to get to people within four and a half hours for them to have a chance to get that. Recognizing the stroke is really the toughest thing to happen.”

Lisle said our furry companions, especially dogs, can be extremely useful in alerting us to medical emergencies.

“They are certainly very in tune with what’s going on,” said Lisle. “We do encounter stories like that, not infrequently.”

There are warning signs of a stroke, he said, everyone should be aware of.

Here is some information from CoxHealth:

  • Weakness. You may feel a sudden weakness, tingling, or loss of feeling on one side of your face or body including your arm or leg
  • Vision Problems. You may have sudden double vision or trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Speech Problems. You may have sudden trouble talking, slurred speech, or problems understanding others.
  • Headache. You may have a sudden, severe headache.
  • Movement problems. You may have sudden trouble walking, dizziness, a feeling of spinning, a loss of balance, a feeling of falling, or blackouts
  • Seizure. You may also have a seizure with a large or hemorrhagic stroke.

Lisle recommends calling 9-1-1 if you see someone having signs of a stroke. That is, instead of bringing them to the hospital yourself.