cpr dog

Ever wonder what to do if your pet needed CPR?  This chart might help you better understand how to perform this procedure if your pet is ever in need.  There are variations dependent upon pet size.  Check out how to handle a large dog versus that small cat in the house.

Dr. Matagrano

Dog CPR how-to

so i’ve noticed that most of us are CPR certified or at least know the basics on how to perform CPR on a human, but what do we do when a dog goes into cardiac arrest? Our pets are a huge part of our families and i believe it is just as critical/important to learn how to perform CPR on our 4 legged family members.

1. The basics to dog CPR are almost identical to that of human CPR. Once you have confirmed that your animal is non-responsive, you need to open the airway. When we are unresponsive our airways narrow or even close completely, as the same happens with dogs. Below is a diagram on how to open your dog’s mouth

it is critical that when you open the dog’s mouth that you securely pull their tongue away from the back of their throat. The tongue is one of the most common FBO’s (foreign body obstruction) we see even in the human medical field. The tongue is one of the strongest muscles in our body, and when we become unresponsive, the tongue goes limp and falls to the back of the mouth closing off the airway. As this applies to animals as well. The best position to have the dog who is unresponsive lay is on it’s side. As for a human we have the patients in cardiac arrest in the supine position (laying on their backs) to easily manage their airways and perform compressions. As for dogs, their anatomy is a little different than ours so we have to perform CPR a little differently. When opening the airway you also want to make sure the dog’s head is in a straight position in line with the neck. This will help you give adequate breaths while performing CPR. It is CRITICAL that you DO NOT over extend the neck, this could result in a neck/spinal cord injury

2. Now that you have your airway patent (open) the first thing you want to do is give two rescue breaths. Below is a diagram on how to properly give rescue breaths

make sure the dog’s mouth is securely closed and give two blows in through the nose. To know if you are giving adequate rescue breaths, you will see chest-rise in the dog’chest/abdominal area. What if you’re not getting chest rise? re-position the neck and try again. If that does not help? Open the dog’s mouth and look into the airway to see if you can visualize a foreign body obstruction. Unlike human CPR, you are able to reach into the airway and remove the visible object. I don’t see any airway obstructions, now what? Don’t panic! we will move to step three

3. If you were unsuccessful in rescue breaths, perform the heimlich maneuver. Below is a diagram on how to perform the heimlich on your animal

your first course of action will be to hold your dog upside down by their back legs, and their head facing down. This is where gravity comes into play and helps move the foreign object out of the airway. Insert a finger into the mouth and use a sweeping motion to try and dislodge the object. If that does not help? move to abdominal thrusts. With both arms, right under the rib cage, give 5 thrusts. After 5 abdominal thrusts, stop, check and see if the airway obstruction has been expelled. If so, remove object and give 2 rescue breaths immediately. If you do not get chest rise with the rescue breaths, perform 5 more cycles of abdominal thrusts and this should resolve the foreign object.

3. Now we start compressions. ONLY PERFORM COMPRESSIONS IF THERE IS NO PULSE! to check for a pulse, locate the artery in the groin

Next, lay the dog on its right side. Position your hands one on top of the other, fingers interlaced, right beside the dog’s left elbow, where it touches the chest (approximately in the middle of the rib cage). give 15 compressions (compressing the chest approximately ½ inch for small dogs, 1 inch for medium dogs, and 1 ½ inches for large dogs) following the 15 compressions you will want to give two rescue breaths and then repeat the process until you can get to an emergency clinic or you get a pulse back.

TIP: Your animals can sense your fear, but cannot understand why you are in this state of panic. This is why it is very important to stay as calm as you can! When you have determined that there is a problem with your dog, and have started emergency interventions, contact your local emergency clinic and give them the following information about your dog

1. Your name

2. Your estimated time of arrival (ETA)

3. Steps taken so far (CPR, Heimlich…)

4. Breed/size of animal

5. Inform them if there is a foreign object in the airway

6. If you suspect your dog has ingested a poison, relay that information as well

7. Mechanism of injury (Hit by car… Fell from substantial height…)

8. If your dog has a relevant past medical history inform the staff at the emergency clinic

I hope this knowledge will help dog owners all over!

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