First aid

How to save a choking dog

Dogs sometimes have a bad habit of putting anything they find inside their mouths.  Actually, dogs always seem to find a way to put objects in their mouth that do not belong there! They tend to pick up all types of stuff, ranging from balls to rocks, small toys to articles of clothing, basically anything they deem fun to play with.

Unfortunately, there are many times when a dog accidentally swallows these objects and it becomes lodged in his throat.  If this object is not removed immediately then there is the chance for the animal to stop breathing and become unconscious.

Since this occurrence is very common with all pets, it’s strongly advised to learn the basic moves that it takes to help your dog from choking.  This can invariably save the life of your pet.

Below are the basic first aid steps to follow.

If your dog is still conscious

  • With two hands, open your dog’s mouth and look inside to see if you can see the object.  If you can see it, try your best to remove it.
  • If you cannot see the object, place your dog on its side and elevate the hindquarters.
  • Now place your hand below the rib cage and another on the dog’s back.  Press in and then up, all in one fluid motion. Keep pressing until the object is coughed up.
  • If the object does not come up then your dog may become unconscious.  If this happens, then follow the steps below.

If your dog gets unconscious

  • As stated above, be sure that the dog is placed on his side with elevated hindquarters.
  • Open the airway and be sure the tongue is pulled out as far as possible and placed to the side.
  • Now perform several compressions in the same area that you had attempted to press in the rib cage.  After two to three compressions, check the mouth for any foreign objects by using the sweep of your finger.
  • Now give the dog a few breaths.
  • Repeat this cycle of compressions, finger sweeps, and artificial respiration breaths until your dog starts breathing by himself and dislodges the object.