CPR for your Pet

Here’s the link to this article including visual aid videos:
http://www.dogheirs.com/dogheirs/posts/201-cpr-for-dogs-cardiopulmonary-resuscitation

Do you know what to do if your dog stops breathing? Knowing a few emergency procedures if your dog is choking, or having difficulty breathing, could save your dog’s life because you may not have time to get to a vet.
If your dog has a foreign object stuck in his throat, it is important to try and dislodge it before performing CPR. Read our article: Heimlich Maneuver for dogs.
Canine CPR
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) preserves brain function until proper blood circulation and breathing can be restored.

The signs that indicate the need for CPR include unconsciousness, lack of arousal, lack of physical movement, or eye blinking. These symptoms can occur from drowning, choking, electrical shock, or a number of other situations.
The following information has been updated with latest recommended guidelines outlined by the first evidence-based research on how best to resuscitate dogs and cats in cardiac arrest published in June 2012 by the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER). The study recommends a few updates to current manual CPR practices on dogs:

  • Perform 100-120 chest compressions per minute
  • Perform a compression to mouth-to-snout ventilation      ratio of 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths
  • Recommendations on how best to perform cardiac massage      / chest compressions on different chest types and sizes of dogs (see      diagrams below).

The key to canine CPR is remembering the ABCs:

Airway,
Breathing, and
Cardiac compression.
To perform the three techniques, follow these steps.

  1. Lay the dog on a flat      surface and extend      the head back to create an airway. (Current practices recommend      laying the dog on his/her right side (heart facing up), however      the  latest recommended guidelines state that either the      left or right lateral recumbency are acceptable.)
  2. Open the jaws to check for      obstructions, and if any exist and are not easily removed, try to dislodge      the object. See our article Heimlich      Maneuever for dogs for details on how to dislodge a dog’s blocked      airway safely.
  3. Cup your hands around      the muzzle      of the dog’s mouth so that only the nostrils are clear. Blow air into the      nostrils with five or six quick breaths, again, depending on the size of      the dog. Small dogs and puppies and require short and shallow breaths.      Larger dogs need longer and deeper breaths. Continue the quick breaths at      a rate of one breath every three seconds or 20 breaths per minute.
  4. Check for a heartbeat by using your finger on      the inside of the thigh, just above the knee. If you don’t feel a pulse,      put your hand over the dog’s chest cavity where the elbow touches the      middle of the chest. If you still don’t find a pulse, have one person      continue breathing into the nostrils (mouth to snout), while another gives      chest compressions / cardiac massage. If you are alone, do the compression      and mouth-to-snout ventilation yourself.
  5. Give the dog chest      compressions (cardiac massage) by placing both hands palms down on the chest cavity of      the dog. For most dogs, chest compressions can be performed on the widest      part of the chest while the dog is lying on his side.
    • For dogs with       keel-shaped chests (i.e. deep, narrow chests) in breeds such as       greyhounds push down closer to the dog’s armpit, directly over the heart.
    • For dogs with       barrel-chested dogs like English bulldogs lay the dog on its back and       compress on the sternum (directly over the heart), like people.
    • For smaller dogs (and       cats) chest-compressions scan be done with one hand wrapped around the       sternum, encircling the heart or two-handed on the ribs.
    • For large dogs, place       your hands on top of each other. For small dogs or puppies, place one       hand or thumb on the chest.
  6. Use the heel of your      hand(s)      to push down for 30 quick compressions followed by 2 breaths of air      (ventilation) and then check to see if consciousness has been restored. If      consciousness has not been restored, continue the compressions in cycles      of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute (the same rhythm administered      for people).
  7. Perform CPR in 2-minute      cycles checking      to see if breathing and consciousness has been restored.

Ideally, CPR is performed while on route to emergency veterinarian care. If this is not possible, contact a veterinarian once the dog has started breathing.
The following diagrams illustrates how to perform chest compressions on dogs with different chest types. Click on an image to see a larger version. Figure (A) illustrates the technique for most dogs. You can apply chest compressions to the widest part of the chest while the dog lies on its side. Figure (B) illustrates the technique for barrel-chested dogs. Figure (C) illustrates the technique for barrel-chested dogs.

For small dogs and cats chest compressions can be administered two ways. Click on the images to see a larger version. Figure (A) illustrates wrapping one hand around the sternum while supporting the back. Figure (B) illustrates two-handed compression.

Below are a couple of videos on administering CPR on dogs. The first is instructional, while the second is a recorded incident of CPR used for an emergency situation.
Note: The instructional video below recommends a compression to ventilation ratio of 15 compressions followed by 1 breath. The June 2012 study recommends a compression to ventilation ratio of 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths.

Here’s the link to this article including visual aid videos:

http://www.dogheirs.com/dogheirs/posts/201-cpr-for-dogs-cardiopulmonary-resuscitation

One Response to “CPR for your Pet”

  1. I’ve loved reading this blog very much. It’s good to see that you are all enjoying yourselves and making an actual difference to peoples lives. Looking ahead to further contributions, thanks again.

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