Choking and Resuscitation
If a dog is having trouble breathing and it also is accompanied by coughing or gagging, it may be a sign that an air passage is blocked. Check for an object lodged in the dog's throat. It should be removed very carefully, so as to not push it back farther. If the object cannot be extracted, then try The Heimlich Method (see below). If the cause cannot be found or removed, then immediate professional help is necessary. If the dog faints, the object will have to be removed right away to reopen the airway. Open the mouth, take hold of the neck in back of the object and apply enough pressure to the throat to keep the object from passing down while you hook it with your fingers. Work it loose as quickly as possible, then administer artificial respiration.
Prevention: Avoid giving your dog a hard rubber ball, chicken bones or long bones that splinter easily.
The Heimlich Method
To dislodge foreign matter from your dog's larynx
- Important -
The following steps should only be considered if you are unable to get the dog to vet IMMEDIATELY. Just prior to, or while you are performing any form of artificial respiration, have someone summon help immediately.
Place your dog on its side and, using both hands palms down, apply quick thrusts to the abdomen just below the dog's last rib. If the dog won't lie down, grasp either side of the rib cage and squeeze in short thrusts. Make a sharp enough movement to cause the air in the lungs to force the object out.
- Important -
The following steps should only be considered if the dog is choking, has stopped breathing, the heart has stopped, and only if you are unable to get the dog to vet IMMEDIATELY. Just prior or while you are performing any form of artificial respiration, get someone to summon help immediately.
This is an emergency procedure that is used to restore breathing in an unconscious dog.
Feel for pulse or heartbeat.
Open mouth and clear away secretions. Check for a foreign body. If found, remove carefully, if possible.
If impossible to reach, execute The Heimlich Method.