What would you do if your dog needed CPR? Would you know how to save your dog’s life? Find out how in this easy to follow guide, brought to you by TruDog.
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It’s hard seeing your dog in a life or death situation, especially when you’re the only one that can save his life. Desperation and fear may cause you to panic in circumstances like this, but having the tools and skills you need to change the situation will arm you with confidence. If your dog is unresponsive or not breathing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR may be necessary.
Indications that CPR may be needed include your dog not breathing, blinking, moving, or unconsciousness. These signs can be a result of the dog choking, cardiac arrest, electric shock, drowning, choking or many other traumatic situations. The CPR maneuver will artificially pump blood and oxygen to your dog for a short period of time until you are able to get veterinary help. Although there is no guarantee that this will save your furry friend’s life, it certainly increases their chances at survival.
Here are the steps to perform CPR on your dog:
- Find a sturdy flat spot and lay your dog on his right side.
- Take the palms of your hands and place them on your dog’s ribcage over his heart.
- With smaller dogs and puppies you can use the 1-handed technique. Wrap your hand around the sternum directly over the heart and squeeze.
- For dogs with barrel-chests, like English Bulldogs, you may perform CPR with the dog on its back (like you would a human).
- Push down on his chest so that you are compressing it about 1/4th to 1/3rd of the way. You should do this at a speed of about 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
- After every 30 compressions, hold his mouth shut, make sure it is completely closed, and breath into his nose 2 times.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until your dog is responsive or until about 10 to 15 minutes has passed.
If you have to perform CPR on your dog or a friend’s dog, it’s important to try to stay calm. Remove any immediate dangers to you or the dog before beginning. If necessary, move the dog to a safe area before beginning. Have someone get on the phone with an emergency veterinarian right away while you perform compressions.
Knowing what to do in an emergency can save lives, and you never know when you’ll need this life-saving information. You can also keep the Red Cross Pet First Aid app on your mobile phone for use during an emergency.
Unfortunately, if there is no oxygenated blood flowing to the brain for more than 10 minutes brain damage is almost certain and the chances of recovery are grim, so be sure to rush your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Sometimes performing CPR for a few minutes will give the dog enough time to recover just enough to start breathing on his own again.
Have you used CPR to save a dog? Tell us your story in the comments! You could win a free thank you gift from TruDog!