July 9th, 2008
Listening during dog cpr

Dog CPR can save your dogs life and uses the same principles as human CPR. Only use CPR if you are sure your dog needs it, otherwise it can be detrimental to the dogs health and you could end up doing far more damage than good.

Ideally you would like to have two people on hand for this, one to do the breathing and one to do the heart compressions. Once you start CPR do not stop until your dog starts to breathe on his own, unless of course you are trying in vein. However, don’t give up too quickly, as many dogs are fighters and will slowly come back to life with CPR.

Check for vital signs of life: Listen to the heartbeat — can you hear one? Check the chest — is it rising? Is the dog breathing? You will need to make a quick and accurate evaluation of the dog.

Clear the airways: If the dog is not breathing, clear the airways and check nothing is obstructing its breathing. Pull the tongue to the side of the mouth so that it doesn’t block the airways.

Breathe for your dog: If the airways are clear you can begin to breathe for your dog. Take a deep breath (obviously smaller if you are dealing with a small breed), shut the mouth, put your hands around the muzzle and breath into the dogs nose. Check the chest is rising every time after you exhale into the nose. Repeat every 10 seconds for large breeds and more regularly for smaller breeds. After 10 breaths, stop and begin chest compressions.

Chest compressions: With your dog on its side place your hands on top of one another (like shown in the picture) and push down in short pumping bursts (just like you would on a human). Do five compressions then go back to the breathing. It should be 10 breaths to every five chest compressions.

By staying calm and remembering a few vital steps, you can be your dogs lifesaver in sticky situations. You know your dog better than anyone; observation is your greatest tool! By thinking clearly in emergency situations instead of getting upset and hysterical you are being the best leader possible to your dog. By being a top leader and responsible dog owner, you are ultimately giving your dog the best chance of a quick diagnosis and speedy recovery.

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