How Can I Save A Choking Dog?How Can I Save A Choking Dog?

Whether you spend a lot of time with dogs and own one yourself or even if you have friends who do, you will find that young puppies and even older dogs will chew on all manner of things. In some cases, dogs will swallow those objects and in a worse case scenario, they can choke and even die! When you are concerned about a dog choking on things, you can take pains to control the environment, but what happens when you cannot remove the things that your dog might choke on? This is where learning how to deal with a choking dog can be essential, so take some time to think about what you can do.

If your dog is conscious, pry open his mouth and look inside. If you can see the object that is caught in his throat, reach down his throat and try to pull it out with your fingers. This is perhaps the most common type of choking incident and it is fairly easy to deal with, even if it can look a little frightening. If you cannot see the object however, you can proceed by putting your dog on his side and elevating his hindquarters. From there, you can put one of your hands below your dog's rib cage and the other behind the dog's back. In a single fluid motion, press in and then press up. Press firmly and repeat the motion until your dog coughs up whatever is in his throat.

If your dog cannot cough up what is bothering him even with your help, there is a good chance that he might fall unconscious. If this happens, leave him on his side with his hindquarters slightly elevated. Then open his airway and make sure that you pull his tongue out as far as it can go. Lay his tongue to the side so that he will not choke on it and then repeat the same compressions that you were doing on his midsection. After two or three strong compressions, you should check his mouth for the offending option with your hands and with your eyes. Can you see what is giving him the problem?

If necessary, you can also give your dog mouth to mouth resuscitation. This simply involves holding your hands over your dog's nose and then closing his mouth to the point where you can give him few breaths. Repeat this cycle of pulses, mouth checks and mouth to mouth resuscitation until your dog can easily breath on his own and he has coughed up the object that gave him the trouble. If he has issues breathing or drinking afterwards, it is important to take him to the vet to get things checked out.

Dogs are often prone to the same health issues that humans are, and dogs are also fast eaters. While puppies are more prone to choking on things than older dogs are, any dog can become a victim of this phenomenon, so be prepared. Fast action in an emergency can make all the difference!
by Kelly Marshall
References and Bibliography
This article was written by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies - the online leader of dog steps and ramps as well as other high quality dog supplies.
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