San Jose, CA (PRWEB) September 25, 2012
What would someone do if a friend or a family member starting choking? Well, they would probably try the Heimlich maneuver or find someone close by to administer CPR. A lot of people have even taken CPR classes and know how to do it themselves in emergency situations. But what if a dog started choking?
Accidents happen, and since pets are being treated more and more like family members, it is important to know what to do in the case that one of them is in trouble. While the methods of pet CPR described below are not completely thorough, they will be, in most cases, enough to keep your pet alive while they’re on the way to the vet’s office. That’s right, knowing pet CPR could save the life of a furry friend.
American Heart Association CPR works much the same way for pets than it does for humans. It combines a mouth-to-mouth breathing technique with chest compressions. The point is to keep oxygen moving into their lungs and to keep blood circulating throughout their body.
If you find that your pet is in trouble (they’re not breathing or their heart is not beating), then you must first move them to a safe area. If you’re with someone else, have them phone the vet while you get ready to perform CPR. To prepare for CPR, place the dog on their right side and remove any leashes, harnesses, or collars.
Unless the dog has injured their head or neck, it is important to check their airway before doing anything else. While they are lying on their side, extend their head and neck to create a straight line from their mouth to their chest. This allows their mouth to open and search for a foreign object that might be obstructing their breathing. Gently pull their tongue forward, bend close down, and take a look for anything that could be lodged in their throat. If there is something in their throat, remove it with the fingers, but be careful! Pets can still sometimes bite even when they’re out of it.
If the dog is still in bad condition, then it is time to start rescue breathing. The method used for pets differs slightly from the method used for humans. Instead of breathing into the pet’s mouth, the rescuer must breathe into their nose. Blow into their nose until their chest starts to expand. If the rescuer is performing rescue breathing on a small dog or a cat, make sure that the breaths are gentle. Breathe in through their nose every five or so seconds. If this doesn’t work, then it is time for actual pet CPR (the rescuer hopefully has connected with the vet by now).
To begin chest compressions, find the pet’s heart. It is located at the front lower half of their chest, just behind their left front leg. With a big dog, the rescuer can place one hand on their heart and the other below their heart. For cats and smaller dogs, you can use the thumb on the heart and the fingers of the same hand below it. For big dogs compress the chest about one inch. For smaller animals, massage gently. Remember not to apply too much pressure for the pet’s body size. Press and release at about 100 compressions per minute for most animals.
Continue with both the rescue breathing and the CPR until the pet starts to breathe again or their heart starts to beat. There are lots of vet clinics located in San Jose, CA.
Unfortunately, pet CPR, like anything else, isn’t one hundred percent effective. But it is better to know how to safely do it, then watch a dog suffer and not be able to offer any help at all. Plus, it works a good deal of the time. If you are very worried about the pet’s safety, there are even pet CPR Classes in San Jose that you can attend. Whatever you choose to do, the above walkthrough should serve as a good introduction to pet CPR. Besides learning how to do CPR on a dog or cat, you should also learn how to perform CPR on children. The American Heart Association offers CPR certification classes in San Jose, CA.