This is a 2 part article on how and when to perform CPR on your dog. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of hands on training by your veterinarian. There will be instances where you might have to perform CPR on your dog. What? CPR on your dog? Are you serious? Yes, it is serious - serious enough that it may save your pet's life.
There are some instances where a pet may accidentally get something stuck in its airway. This will cause choking and ultimately, death. Also, pet CPR will prove vital in cases where the pet has lost its breathing or a pulse. This is the case of most pets that go into cardiac arrest.
If this happens, it is urgent that the pet's airway, breathing, and circulation are restored and maintained. To perform such, owners must be aware of the proper procedure of performing CPR. Most trained veterinarians will be knowledgeable in this procedure. You may want to consult with them for proper advice on the procedures outlined here. In any event remember your ABC's.
Airway After determining that the animal is non-responsive, step one in performing dog CPR is obtaining a good airway. This is a very important step. You should seek to achieve this first before continuing on.
Remember that making sure your pet has a clear airway is the most important aspect of CPR. Without oxygen your pet could die within minutes. Pull out the tongue of your pet carefully.
The emphasis here is on carefully. Pets, even when unconscious can bite by instinct. Keep the pet's neck straight, and line up the neck and the back. In case there is neck trauma, do not hyperextend the neck. Then, try giving the animal two rescue breaths. Perform this by putting your mouth to its nose, and keeping the animal's mouth closed.
If your breaths go in then you can continue. However, if they do not go in, it means that there is an obstruction in the animal's airway. In this case, inspect the animal's airway, and try to extract the obstructing object.
If you cannot, try doing a modified Heimlich maneuver. Turn the animal over with its back against your chest and its head towards the ground in a bear hug. Deliver five thrusts to the abdomen. Imagine making each thrust dislodge the object. Be careful that you do not deliver too much pressure as it may cause damage if overdone. Do not stop until you are able to clear the airway.
Even if the animal goes into cardiac arrest (meaning no heartbeat), the primary concern is to open the airway and keep it clear. Watch for Dog CPR-Part 2 coming soon. We will then cover Breathing and Circulation.
If you want to get the rest of the article immediately, go to http://www.free-dog-info.com. There, for a limited time, you can download the free ebook "Discover the Secrets to a Healthy Dog" which has the complete article, and much more on dog health subjects.