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Emergency Dog CPR

CPR for dogs (and cats too) is similar to CPR for humans.

These directions assume the animal is unconscious and the risk of being bitten by the animal is not present.

CPR is not needed if the animal is conscious or aware of you.

1. Remove any obstruction.

Open animals mouth and make sure the air passage is clear.

If not remove the object obstructing the air passage.

2. Extend the head and give several artificial respirations:

A. For large dogs: close the animal's jaw tightly and breathe into the nose. The animal's chest should rise. Give 2 breaths.

B. For small dogs and cats you may be able to cover the nose and mouth with your mouth as you breathe. The animal's chest should rise. Give 2 breaths.

3. Next perform chest compression

A. For large dogs you may be able to position the dogs on its back and compress the chest just like for humans.

B. For small dogs and cats as well as large dogs with funnel chests, you may need to lie the animal on its side and compress the side of the rib cage. Alternatively you can position the animal on its back and press on both sides of the rib cage.

C. The rate of chest compressions varies with the size of the animal

i. Dogs over 60 lbs: 60 compressions per minute

ii. Animals 11 to 60 lbs: 80-100 compressions per minute

iii. Animals 10 lbs or less: 120 compressions per minute

4. Alternate breaths with compressions

The ratio of compressions to breaths should be approximately the same as for humans - 30:2 Continue doing this until the animal responds or begins to breathe on its own.


Go to more Animal First Aid at American Veterinary Association Site

Check out Dr. Fort's blog and course for Pet CPR

And check out this week's blog post as we continue to learn about canine CPR!

Libbie Fort, DVM


Oxford Moron said...

I once had to give one of my horses the heimlick (SP) maneuver. While eating alfalfa cubes another of my horses came up from behind and scared him. when he jumped, a cube lodged in his throat. As he tried to cough it out, his legs stretched straight out from both sides with his belly pretty close to the ground. He was coughing so hard that mucus from his nostrils looked like ropes all the way to the ground. I got in front of him with my back to him. As he made his next attempt to draw air in, I waited for the exact moment he would let out a cough, I slammed my right shoulder and back into his chest as hard as I could. Turned out to be exact perfect timing and the cube shot in a straight line out of his mouth about 10 feet. He almost fell over from the weakness he was feeling after fighting so hard for his life. He stood shaking for a good 10 minutes after, then drank an extraordinary amount of water. It was so fortunate for both of us that I was there when it happened. I will never forget how useful it made me feel.For that day I was a hero, though no one else witnessed it.

A.Higgins said...

What a great story and thanks for sharing it here. I find it amazing you thought to try this on your horse! and it worked. You are a hero, you saved your horse and now others can learn how to save a horse from choking too.

Author Amber Higgins

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