THE INFORMATION HERE FOR DOGS AND CATS IS FOR TEMPORARY EMERGENCY MEASURES ONLY & IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR VETERINARY CARE!
It also covers shock, choking, splinting, poisoning and more. Dial 911 for extreme situations.
Choking and the Heimlich Maneuver
How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver if your Dog is Choking
Most dogs will chew nearly anything: bones, toys, shoes, socks, etc. But would you know what to do if something became lodged in the windpipe or stuck on the palate and your dog began to choke? It's important that you do not wait for veterinary assistance, as the dog may suffocate.
What To Watch For
If the dog is suffocating, it will often panic. A dog may paw at its mouth if something is lodged, though this does not necessarily mean it is choking. Another suspicious sign of choking is an unresponsive or unconscious dog; in these cases, check the throat and mouth for foreign objects.
Almost any small object can cause choking, though the most common are hard rubber balls, lumps of gristle, and chew toys or sticks that have become swollen due to moisture.
Be very careful when dealing with a choking dog, as even calm animals will panic when they cannot breathe. Protect yourself by restraining the dog, but do not muzzle it.
- Use both hands to open the mouth, with one hand on the upper jaw and the other on the lower.
- Grasping the jaws, press the lips over the dog’s teeth so that they are between the teeth and your fingers.
- Look inside the mouth and remove the obstruction with your fingers.
- If you can’t move the object with your fingers, use a flat spoon handle to pry it away from the teeth or roof of the mouth.
If the dog is still choking and you can’t see anything in the mouth, or the dog has fallen unconscious, follow these guidelines.
For a SMALL Dog
Pick the dog up by its thighs and gently shake and swing it. If his condition does not improve, apply forward pressure to the abdomen just behind the ribcage.
For a LARGE Dog
Do not try to pick up, shake, or swing a large dog; you're more likely to do further damage due to the animal's size. Instead, perform the equivalent of the Heimlich maneuver:
- If the dog is standing, put your arms around her belly, joining your hands. Make a fist and push firmly up and forward, just behind the rib cage. Place the dog on his side afterward.
- If the dog is lying down, place one hand on the back for support and use the other hand to squeeze the abdomen upwards and forwards.
- Check the dog's mouth and remove any objects that may have been dislodges with your fingers.
Note that the object might be quite a way back towards the throat, so you might have to hunt around and hook it out with your index finger. If the dog required artificial respiration or CPR, seek immediate veterinary attention.
It is likely objects stuck in the throat have caused damage. Depending on the length of time the dog was without oxygen and the damage to the throat, the dog may require hospitalization for a few days. In some cases, bronchoscopy (whereby a small camera is inserted into the windpipe to visualize and remove the foreign body) may be recommended. Although this may just be minor scratching, it is still important that a veterinarian examine the dog for potential problems. Sometimes foreign bodies stuck in the esophagus such as bones can cause respiratory distress and mimic choking.
The best way to prevent choking is to treat your dog as you would a small child. Although it’s almost impossible to stop them putting things in their mouth, you should always be present and keep an eye on what they’re chewing. Avoid moisture-swollen chew toys or sticks, and cut up large chunks of food, especially gristle. T-bones are also known to cause choking when given to dogs.
Animal CPR And First Aid Help In Emergencies.
This information is brought to you by Highland Animal Sanctuary.
Talk to the animal first. Gently touch and attempt to awaken the pet. You could be seriously injured should you attempt to perform CPR on a pet who was only sleeping heavily and was startled awake.
Extend the head and neck and pull the tongue forward. Look in the mouth and remove any saliva or vomit-us.
If it is too dark to see into the mouth, sweep your finger deep into the mouth and even into the throat to remove any vomit-us or foreign body. Be aware of a hard, smooth, bone-like structure deep in the throat.
This is likely to be the hyoid apparatus (Adam's apple). Serious injury could result if you pull on the hyoid apparatus.
Sometimes an animal will begin to breathe spontaneously when the head is put in the position discussed above (head and neck extended, tongue pulled forward).
Watch for the rise and fall of the chest while listening closely for sounds
of breathing. If no breathing is evident in 10 seconds, begin rescue breathing.
If the pet is still not breathing, continue rescue breathing 20-25 times per minute in cats or small dogs,
or 12-20 times per minute in medium or large dogs. Push down on the stomach area every few seconds to help expel the air that may have blown into the stomach. If the stomach is allowed to distend with air, the pressure will make the rescue breathing efforts less effective.
Depress the rib cage circumferential. Do this 100-150 times per minute.
If the dog is on her side, place the hand(s) on the side of the chest wall where it is widest.
If the dog is on her back, place the hand(s) on the sternum (breastbone). Depress the rib cage or sternum 1.5 to 4 inches, depending on the dog's size. Do this 80-120 times per minute
Rescue breathing should be given during every second or third heart compression. Continue CPR Until....
You become exhausted and can't continue.You get the animal transported to a veterinary facility and professionals can take over. The pulse is palpable or heartbeats are felt and they are strong and regular. In the vast majority of cases, artificial ventilation's will continue to be required. This is due to nervous system depression secondary to the arrest.
The following techniques are listed in order of preference.
Gently press a compress (a pad of clean cloth or gauze) over the bleeding area. Consistent, steady pressure is best. The compress helps control the bleeding by absorbing the blood and allowing it to clot. Do not disturb blood clots after they have formed. If blood soaks through, do not remove the pad; simply add additional layers of cloth and continue the direct pressure more evenly. The compress can be bound in place using bandage material which frees the hands of the first aid provider for other emergency actions. In the absence of a compress, a bare hand or finger can be used.
Direct pressure on a wound is the most preferable way to stop bleeding.
If there is a severely bleeding wound on the foot or leg, gently elevate the leg so that the wound is above the level of the heart. Elevation uses the force of gravity to help reduce blood pressure in the injured area, slowing the bleeding. Elevation is most effective in larger animals with longer limbs where greater distances from wound to heart are possible. Direct pressure with compresses should also be maintained to maximize the use of elevation.
Elevation of a limb combined with direct pressure is an effective way to stop bleeding.
If external bleeding continues following the use of direct pressure and elevation, finger or thumb pressure over the main artery to the wound is needed. Apply pressure to the femoral artery in the groin for severe bleeding of a rear leg; to the bronchial artery in the inside part of the upper front leg for bleeding of a front leg; or to the caudal artery at the base of the tail if the wound is on the tail. Continue application of direct pressure.
This can also be used in conjunction with direct pressure.
Pressure above the wound will help control arterial bleeding.
Pressure below the wound will help control bleeding from veins.
Use of a tourniquet is dangerous and it should be used only for a severe, life-threatening hemorrhage in a limb (leg or tail) not expected to be saved.
A wide (2-inch or more) piece of cloth should be used to wrap around the limb twice and tied into a knot.
A short stick or similar object is then tied into the knot as well.
Twist the stick to tighten the tourniquet until the bleeding stops.
Secure the stick in place with another piece of cloth and make a written note of the time it was applied.
Loosen the tourniquet for 15 to 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Remember this is dangerous and will likely result in disability or amputation. Use of a tourniquet should only be employed as a last-resort, life-saving measure!
Internal bleeding is a life-threatening condition, but it is not obvious like external bleeding. Any bleeding which is visible is external. Internal bleeding occurs inside the body and will not be seen. There are, however, external signs of internal bleeding:
The pet is pale (check the gums or eyelids).
The pet is cool on the legs, ears, or tail.
The pet is extremely excited or unusually subdued.
If any of these signs are evident, the pet should be immediately transported to a veterinary facility for professional help.
Remember: internal bleeding is not visible on the outside.
to protect wounds from the environment, protect the environment from wounds, and to discourage the pet from licking or irritating a wound. They may be applied as support for strains or sprains and to prevent motion. Proper application is important.
The first step in proper bandaging is making sure the wound is clean.
Generally, 1-inch rolls are used for small limbs and the tail, 2-inch rolls are for medium-sized legs, and the 3- and 4-inch rolls are for large legs and the body.
If materials are too wide, they are difficult to apply smoothly. Any wrinkles or ridges may cause the bandage to become uncomfortable for your pet. Uneven pressure may cause necrosis (tissue death) of the underlying tissues.Begin with just enough absorbent layer to hold the contact layer in place. If the wound is on a leg or the tail, proceed by wrapping from the toes or the tip of the tail towards the body. If you begin at the top of the leg or the tail, the bandage is more likely to restrict blood flow and cause swelling, which may cause tissue damage.
Apply several layers of absorbent material, which will soak up the fluid from the wound and increase the patient's comfort by cushioning the wound.
Bandages should be checked frequently for any signs of swelling, discoloration or coolness of the skin, odor, or saturation of the bandage material. The bandage should be changed whenever any of the above are noticed or any time it appears to be uncomfortable for the pet. Wounds that are draining heavily may require bandage changes every 1 or 2 hours. Bandages over wounds with little or no drainage should be changed every 24 hours.
Bright red gums.
Very rapid capillary refill time.
The pet may be either excited or subdued.
Rapid heart rate.
Pulse not difficult to find.
MIDDLE STAGES OF SHOCK:
Gums appear pale or "muddy".
Abnormally long capillary refill time.
The heart rate is frequently above normal.
The pulse weakens and may be difficult to locate.
The pet will most likely be subdued, depressed and weak.
Respiration often shallow and rapid (but may be normal).
Rectal temperature often below normal (may be normal or even elevated).
LATE STAGES OF SHOCK:
Gums extremely pale or show a bluish discoloration, and are often "blotchy" in appearance.
Capillary refill time is longer (sometimes longer than 3-4 seconds).
Heart rate is probably elevated and irregular, but may be normal or below normal as heart muscle begins to fail.
The pulse will be very weak and difficult or impossible to locate.
Respiration may be slow or rapid, shallow or deep.
The eyes may take on a glazed appearance and appear not to focus normally.
Mental condition deteriorates from depression to stupor to coma.
Rectal temperature will be below normal, often critically so.
First aid procedures include:
Providing adequate breathing. (see CPR)[Choking]
Stopping blood loss. (see Bleeding)
Protecting obvious fractures from further injury. (see Splints)
Preventing loss of body heat by covering the patient with one or more blankets.
Immediately transporting the patient to a veterinary facility for definitive treatment of shock and other injuries and illnesses. (see Transport) A jacket can be used to keep an animal in shock warm while preparing for transport to a veterinary facility.
Do not allow the injured pet to move about on his own.
Unnecessary use of muscles "burns fuel," which can be fatal to a patient in shock.
Do not apply a heating pad to a sick or injured patient.
These dilated vessels require more blood to fill them and decrease the efficiency of the already failing cardiovascular system, resulting in worsening of the shock condition.
Do not pour water (or anything else) into the animal's mouth.
Do not administer any medications.
Do not assume the pet is NOT in shock after an accident.
Do not hesitate seeking veterinary assistance.
Any hesitation could mean the difference between a pet making a full recovery and a pet which cannot be saved.
Choking is interference with breathing caused by foreign material in, or compression on, the trachea (windpipe).
If air is not entering the lungs, slap the pet's chest wall firmly or perform the Heimlich maneuver by putting the pet on its back, placing your hands over the abdomen near the bottom of its rib cage, and gently, but firmly thrusting toward the spine. Perform a finger sweep and begin rescue breathing.
Repeat until the foreign body is clear and the lungs can be inflated. Transport to the veterinarian.
Frequently, pet owners confuse coughing with choking. Both cause the pet to forcefully exhale. With choking, the pet has difficulty inhaling. When coughing, the pet can inhale almost normally.
If it appears that your pet has an extra joint, the limb is likely broken (fractured).
If possible, fractures of the bones below the elbow or the stifle (knee) should be splinted at the accident site.
This must be done carefully in order to avoid injury to both the pet and the first aid provider.
Fractures are usually painful injuries, so it is best to muzzle (see section on muzzling) or cover the pet with a thick blanket or towel. If there is a wound on the fractured limb, bandage it first using the techniques discussed in the previous section. Do not attempt to replace a bone if it protrudes.
Roll the paper or magazine loosely and collapse it, forming a gutter shape.
Place the leg in the gutter and tape firmly with any good tape (adhesive, duct, even Scotch).
Other materials which may be used for splinting are wood, sticks, tree branches, cardboard, or light strips of metal.
Be certain to tape above and below the fracture site. All splints should extend at least one joint above and one joint below the fracture site. A magazine makes a good temporary splint until you can get your cat or dog to a veterinarian.
hangers. Collapse a few of the hangers together and twist them together to form a malleable metal "bar."
Bend the bar into a shape which resembles the normal angulation of the rear leg and tape this to the leg.
Sticks of wood, thick layers of cardboard, etc. can also be used. As with splints on forelimbs, splints on rear limbs should extend at least one joint above and one joint below the fracture site. If the rear limb has been fractured above the stifle (knee), it is not easy to splint effectively. It is best to get these patients immobilized and transported.
Get a firm, flat support (an ironing board, a piece of plywood, a collapsed cardboard box, a table leaf -- think of one in your house before you need it).
Grasp the skin over the back of the neck and over the small of the
back and gently slide the pet on to the support.
Try to keep the back and neck straight. Tie or tape the pet to the support.
It should not flex abnormally downward nor extend excessively upward. Improper flexing or extending can cause decreased blood drainage from the brain and cause serious damage.
If the pet has vomited or appears likely to vomit, put the head down below the level of the heart.
This will allow the vomit to run out of the mouth and not down into the
windpipe and the lungs. Be aware that pets with severe head injuries are likely to vomit, even while they are unconscious.
Call your veterinarian or a poison control center and be prepared to answer the following questions
What product caused the poisoning and how much was ingested?
When did the poisoning occur?
What symptoms is your pet exhibiting?
Can you retrieve a container or label from the poisonous substance to determine the active ingredient?
Follow the instructions of the veterinarian or the poison control center.
there is evidence that the poison was:
a strong acid,
an alkali (such as bleach),
a petroleum product,
a cleaning product,
or the substance was ingested more than 3 hours ago.
To induce vomiting:
or Syrup of ipecac (follow label directions)
The first aid provider must not only identify and treat injury or illness, but must also safely transport the patient to the veterinary facility for treatment. Improper technique when transporting a patient can result in further injury or complications.
HANDLE THE PET AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE
Smaller dogs and cats can most effectively be transported in commercially available carriers or in a cardboard box with a lid.
In this case, it is better to leave the pet in a comfortable position.
This is imperative when handling the unconscious patient or the patient with a suspected back injury.
Frozen Half-and-half coffee cream.
Should your pet eat glass ornaments, staples or other small sharp items, defrost the half-and-half & pour some in a bowl. (You can substitute liverwurst or another moist, smooth food or drink that your pet likes.)
Copyright reserved to Sandy Brock. Permission is hereby granted for any non-profit reproduction by any person or group.
Reproduced from the information page at the Animals Hope Petition Team website.
If you'd like to read more:
IN CASE YOU DIDN'T FIND WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR HERE ARE SOME MORE, HERE ARE SOME MORE TOPICS.
|| Advanced Search|
FIRST AID AND EMERGENCY CARE
By Roger W. Gfeller, DVM, DipACVECC, Michael W. Thomas, DVM, and Isaac Mayo
Preparing for a medical emergency involving your pet is always best accomplished before the event takes place. This series is designed to help guide you through the important decisions about first aid, as well as how and when to transport your pet quickly and safely to a veterinary hospital or emergency facility.
It includes information on what to do and what not to do in specific emergency situations. The authors encourage careful reading and occasional rereading. We have tried to make this site easy to understand, avoiding technical terms as often as possible, but defining them in context when they are necessary.
On this 2-year anniversary of the sad date when we were shocked to learn that Roger had suddenly died, we dedicate this revised edition to Roger’s memory and the spirit of collegiality, lifelong learning and commitment to patient care that defined Roger as a doctor, educator, colleague and friend.
VeterinaryPartner.com has provided this complete reference book online for you to browse through, expanding your knowledge of Dog & Cat First Aid.
Dr. Gfeller was practicing emergency medicine nearly as long as anyone in the country and had been a Board Certified Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care since 1993.
A localized accumulation of pus, usually caused by an infection introduced from an animal bite or other penetrating wound.
We use bandages for several reasons: to protect wounds from the environment, protect the environment from wounds, and to discourage the pet from licking or irritating a wound.
Any insect sting or spider bite can cause problems for your pet.
Learn how to stop bleeding in an emergency.
Bloat is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach fills with air or twists upon itself.
A burn is any injury of tissue caused by heat, flame, chemicals, or electricity. Burn classification determines the severity of the wound based on the depth of the tissue injury.
CPCR (formerly referred to as CPR) is the treatment required to save an animal or human life when suffering cardiopulmonary arrest.
Injury to tissue caused by contact with harmful chemicals such as lye, acids, and strong cleaning supplies.
Choking is interference with breathing caused by foreign material in, or compression on, the trachea (windpipe).
Excess loss of water from the body or inappropriate intake of water into the body.
Diarrhea is the frequent evacuation of watery stools. Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.
If the contractions are frequent, regular, and strong, and no young is produced in 15 to 30 minutes, the pet should be taken to a veterinarian.
Suffocation caused by the filling of the lungs with water or other fluid. What to do?
It is imperative that you do not touch the pet until the electrical source has been turned off or moved. Electricity can flow through your pet and affect you as well.
Seek veterinary attention immediately as signs can indicate potentially serious eye problems that can risk your pet’s vision.
Fainting and dizziness may be associated with anything from low blood sugar to severe heart disease.
Fever is the elevation of body temperature in response to infection or inflammation.
Fracture: a break or crack in a bone. Learn about the different types of fractures and what to do.
The elevation of body temperature above normal. It is sometimes indicative of a fever, but it can also be associated with severe conditions such as heat stroke or heat prostration.
When a pet's body temperature dips below 100.5 degrees, the pet is too cold and must be warmed.
Dogs frequently carry sticks in their mouths and suffer impalements when an end of the stick jams into the ground.
If the nose is bleeding profusely and/or the bleeding lasts more than 5 minutes, seek veterinary attention.
It is extremely important to immobilize the spine of a suddenly paralyzed pet before and during transportation.
To identify an illness or abnormal situation, you must first be able to recognize what is normal for your pet.
Try to get in touch with a veterinarian or a poison control center and follow their instructions. It's important to know which substances you should induce vomiting, and which ones you shouldn't.
What can you do to prevent a crisis?
Seizure activity that lasts longer than 3 to 5 minutes can cause severe side effects, such as fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) or brain (cerebral edema). A dramatic rise in body temperature (hyperthermia) can also result, causing internal organ damage.
The term shock can mean different things to different people, and medical professionals still debate the true meaning of the word. Regardless of cause, shock is life-threatening and requires immediate attention and treatment.
When your pet is "struck" by a snake, it is best to assume it is a poisonous bite.
Straining is a frequent and sometimes exaggerated effort to have a bowel movement or to urinate.
Damage to the tissues caused by exposure to the sun's rays.
The first aid provider must not only identify and treat injury or illness, but must also safely transport the patient to the veterinary facility for treatment.
Respiratory distress recognized by increased effort to breathe; noisy breathing; cyanosis (a bluish tinge to the lips and mucous membranes); inability to inhale or exhale.
Many wounds will require pain control and sedation or general anesthesia for cleaning and closure once your pet has been evaluated by a veterinarian.
If you have questions, seek advice from a veterinarian.