No one ever wants to think about their dog being in pain or facing a medical emergency. But being prepared to deal with these extremely rare situations can make the difference between life and death. There are certainly long-term medical issues that we can keep an eye out for, like canine cancer. Yet it is also very important to know what to do if your dog stops breathing or doesn’t have a pulse. This exclusive look at dog CPR can ensure that every dog owner is equipped with the proper skills in the event of a life-threatening emergency. Knowing how to perform CPR is vital information that I will be sure to keep handy, along with emergency phone numbers for my vet and the nearest animal emergency hospital. Scroll through below to see how to perform CPR, artificial respirations, and the Heimlich maneuver, should any of them become necessary. Be sure to discuss these and any other canine medical issues with your vet if you have any questions at all.
While most people will never need to perform CPR on their pup, this information is important for everyone to know!
Call For Emergency Assistance
Check For Signs Of Breathing
Check That The Airway Is Clear
If you have determined that your dog is not breathing, you should next check their airway to make sure it is clear. If they are choking, or something is blocking their airway, you will need to remove it right away. CPR cannot be performed if something is preventing air from getting to your dog. Attempt to remove any blockage with your fingers or a set of tongs. If you are unable, you must perform the Heimlich, described below. If there is no blockage, skip right to checking your dog’s pulse.
Perform Heimlich, If Necessary
If you discover that something is blocking your dog’s airway and you cannot remove it with your fingers, you will need to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Check For A Pulse
To perform compressions:
- Lay your dog on his/her right side, positioning yourself above their back.
- Cup your palms over one another, directly over the wide part of the ribs. (If you have a very tiny dog – under 30 pounds – you can use your thumb and fingers to squeeze the chest instead.)
- Keep your elbows straight and deliver compressions at a depth of about a quarter of the width of your dog’s chest.
- Deliver compressions at a rate of 100 per minute.
- According to PetMD, if performing CPR alone, you should deliver five compressions before stopping to deliver air
Deliver Artificial Respirations
Check For A Pulse Again
Every two minutes, you should stop and reassess the situation. Check to see if your dog has resumed breathing or has a pulse. If you discover that they are breathing or have a pulse, discontinue CPR. If they still have no pulse, continue CPR.
Get Emergency Medical Attention
It is important to get your dog emergency medical attention as soon as possible. While no one ever wants to see their pet in distress, it is very important to be prepared in the case of a medical emergency. Knowing how to properly assess your dog’s situation and deliver CPR could potentially save their life.
If you ever have any questions about CPR and proper emergency procedure, be sure to consult your vet.
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