This is something anyone could probably never think of until it occurs. Your dog is unable to breathe. Any idea of what you are supposed to do if you are caught up in such a situation? Many are the times you will be caught up in a dilemma of what to do or who to call. Even though it is hard to visualize emergency circumstances concerning your dog, it is advisable to be ready if you find a situation that your dog stops breathing. If it happens, your first response matters.
Do not move him. Analyze the situation first, and do not freak out. If your dog is not responding, determine whether he is breathing. Place your hand on the dog’s rib cage and feel whether there is any movement. Be careful while attending to him, even if he is impassive. He may act abnormally to what you are used to and bite you if he is in pain or frightened. If there is any air obstruction, turn your dog and try extricating any objects that could be trapped. If you are sure your dog is not breathing, you need to execute CPR.
On the other hand, if your dog is not breathing but has a heartbeat, you must do rescue breathing. Usually, dogs with no breathings undergo cardiac arrest quickly. You should therefore be quick to act and keep examining his heartbeats sporadically.
How to perform rescue breathing
- Put your dog lying on his side.
- Tilt his head back slightly and extend his neck out to open his nostrils.
- Pull the tongue out and place it between his anterior teeth.
- Look for any foreign objects in his mouth and get rid of them. Be careful if your dog is responsive to avoid being bitten.
- Put your mouth on the dog’s nose and exhale into his nose about five or six times swiftly, or do it once for three to five seconds. You should be able to see his chest rise. If your dog is large, do it forcefully, and if small. Do it gently.
- Check if he is breathing or has a heartbeat.
- Proceed with the method until your dog can breathe or for about fifteen minutes.
- Look for another person to help you take him to the veterinary doctor as you continue with rescue breathing.
- If your dog is still not breathing, change to CPR.
If you have determined that you do not have a heartbeat, immediately start administering CPR.
- Place your dog on a steady surface softly.
- Use your hand and gently place it underneath his chest to offer support, while the other hand is over his heart, located behindhand the elbow.
- Gently press your hand down on his heart if he is a small dog, and more solid if he is a big dog.
- Repeat about 100-130 times every minute.
- Substitute two rescue breaths with 40 rib cage compressions.
- Repeat until you feel a heartbeat or you have arrived at the veterinary.
For more on what to do if your dog stops breathing visit AMVA
Read other great articles on Dog Edge