Do you know what the Heimlich maneuver is and how to perform it? If not, I recommend that you stay and read this article since it is common for our pets to go through episodes of suffocation or choking and it is our responsibility to know how to act against them. Our early action can save their lives, remember that.
A ball, a bone, or any foreign body that gets trapped in your dog's airway will produce an obstructive condition that prevents the animal from ventilating normally. In these cases the Heimlich maneuver will be essential to safeguard the life of your pet. This is why Waggy's compiled for you the step-by-step instructions to follow so that together we can learn the technique and everything related to this topic. Let's get to it!
What is the Heimlich maneuver for dogs?
Broadly speaking, the Heimlich maneuver is a first aid procedure that is applicable to people and our pets and is used in situations of asphyxiation or drowning.
When is the Heimlich maneuver necessary in dogs?
We must be clear that this maneuver should only be applied in cases of asphyxiation caused by foreign bodies that generate a serious obstruction of the airway since it is an aggressive technique that may cause certain damage such as injuries to internal organs, fractures of the ribs, among others.
How many compressions are given in the Heimlich maneuver?
It is extremely important that no more than 4 or 5 firm compressions be performed in the area where it has been specified. For this reason, we must have information on how to do it and even, if possible, take a course that shows us how to do it.
How is the Heimlich maneuver done in dogs?
If you cannot remove the object and the dog shows signs of choking, you should perform the Heimlich maneuver.
Place the dog in a standing position or on all fours so his back is straight.
Place one hand on the dog's lower abdomen, just above his hips.
Place your other hand on top of the first and squeeze in and up with quick, firm movements. The idea is to apply pressure to the abdominal region to force the expulsion of the obstructing object.
Continue doing abdominal thrusts until the object is expelled or the dog regains the ability to breathe on its own.
If your dog doesn't catch his breath after a few attempts, you should immediately take him to the vet for professional care.
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Heimlich maneuver in small dogs
If your dog is a small or dwarf breed, what you should do is the following:
- Grab him by the hip and suspend him in the air with his head down.
- Perform a few gentle shakes so that the foreign body comes out with the help of gravity.
- Take him to the vet for a check-up.
What should I do before starting the Heimlich maneuver? Previous steps
The fact that the technique is somewhat aggressive is decisive when it comes to making sure you exhaust all options before resorting to it. For this reason, Waggy's recommends some steps to follow:
This step is essential in any of our situations. Don't forget it!
Explore your mouth
If possible, open the dog's mouth and check to see if you can see or feel the obstructing object. If you see an object that you can reach easily, try to carefully remove it using tweezers or your fingers. Be careful not to push the object further in.
Pat his back
If you can't remove the foreign body with your fingers, try patting your pet's back several times. That it is at the height of the forelimbs, between the two scapulas, they must be firmly and dryly clapped, although it is important to measure the force.
What to do after the maneuver?
After the object is expelled and the dog can breathe normally, it is important to take him to the vet to make sure he has not suffered any internal injuries or complications. Also, remember that the Heimlich maneuver in small dogs must be performed with great care due to their size and fragility. It is always advisable to consult with a veterinarian for additional guidance and training on first aid for small dogs.
What to do if the Heimlich technique doesn't work?
When the Heimlich maneuver does not work, it will be a priority that you go to a veterinarian as soon as possible so that if necessary, the professional can perform an emergency tracheostomy. This procedure consists of making a cut in the trachea with the aim of making it once again permeable to the passage of air and, in this way, ventilation is possible again.
How to prevent choking in dogs? recommendations
Some of the recommendations that Waggy's can give you to prevent suffocation or choking situations are the following:
Choose foods appropriate for the breed and size of your dog. Use kibble or canned food designed specifically for dogs, and make sure they are the appropriate size for their mouth. Also, you can check if the barf diet is appropriate or at least what those are. fruits and vegetables that dogs can eat .
The best diet for dogs consists of giving your pet the necessary nutrients, although it is not bad to reward them with a delicious and healthy dessert, see the articles: Ice cream for dogs and homemade dog biscuits .
Supervision during meal
If you have more than one dog at home, make sure each one has its own space and food bowl. Supervise your dogs while they eat and prevent them from competing or rushing to eat. Some dogs choke because they try to eat too quickly.
Avoid giving small bones
Avoid giving small bones or bones that can splinter, as they can cause dangerous blockages. Opt for large, sturdy bones designed specifically for dogs, and be sure to supervise them while they chew.
Cut food into small pieces
If you give your dog fruits or vegetables as treats, be sure to cut them into small pieces to prevent choking.
Avoid small and dangerous objects
Keep small objects such as toys, plastic parts, or toy parts that could pose a choking hazard out of your dog's reach.
Teaches good eating habits
Train your dog to eat calmly and chew food properly. You can do this by using food-dispensing toys or feeding dishes designed to slow down his eating pace.
Teach your dog "leave it" or "drop" commands so he can let go of dangerous objects if he encounters them.
In conclusion, this article tells us that the Heimlich maneuver is a crucial first aid technique to help a dog that is choking and cannot breathe due to an obstruction in its airway. Knowing how to perform this maneuver properly can make the difference between life and death for your pet in an emergency situation. Therefore, it is important to remember that, although the Heimlich maneuver is effective, it is preferable to prevent choking situations in dogs. first of all.