There you are, walking along with your dog when suddenly
he slips and falls into the river and drowns. Would you know what to do?
Or maybe you come upon a dog having just been injured in a
canine vs. car accident and you want desperately to help. Would you know
what to do?
There are approximately *68 million dogs and 73 million
cats residing with American families. The majority of people with
companion animals polled said that they consider their dog or cat a member
of the family. Dogs and cats may find themselves in the water and unable
to rescue themselves. They may be victims of a car vs. animal mishap or
toxicity, suffocation or other injury, accidental or intentional. Pet CPR
classes and workshops are now being offered around the country to help
save the lives of the four-footed family members in their time of need.
Here is a brief primer on the A,B,C's of CPR for your dog
or cat. Keep in mind that the following basic instruction is not intended
to take the place of a visit to your veterinary clinic or pet emergency
hospital, which should always be your first plan in an emergency. However,
if treatment can be started on the scene or en route to an emergency
veterinarian, a life may very well be saved.
Any animal, no matter how docile and sweet, can become
fiercely protective of himself when in pain so your safety should be your
first concern. Do not attempt CPR unless the animal is unconscious, both
for safety and for the health of the animal. CPR should never be performed
on a conscience, combative animal.
Airway: First: Call your pet's name to see if there is any
response. If no response, carefully lean down close and look, feel and
Look at the chest to see if there is a rise and fall, feel
on your cheek or the back of your hand for breath coming from the nose or
mouth, listen for breath sounds.
Breathing: If the animal is not breathing, pull the tongue
out just a little, close the mouth and tilt their head back slightly to
open the airway. Administer 4-5 breaths mouth to snout. That is, close
their mouth and breathe into their snout through your mouth. If squeamish
about this, cover the nose with a light tissue, gauze or other flimsy
material. You want to breath out just enough to make the chest rise.
Larger dogs will need more breath, little dogs and felines will need much
less. Don't give too much or you will injure the lungs.
Circulation: Check to see if their heart is beating. Check
for a heartbeat (pulse). The pulse points on a dog is on the inside of the
rear leg, towards the top of the leg. This is the femoral pulse. For cats,
the pulse point is on the outside of the left front leg, just behind the
shoulder, this is the apical pulse.
If there is a pulse but no breathing, continue to perform
mouth to snout resuscitation at the rate of 1 breath every 3 seconds. For
small dogs or cats give 1 breath every two seconds. If there is no pulse,
For a dog, place the dog on the ground or other hard
surface with his right side down. Bend the left front leg at the elbow,
pushing the shoulder back. The point on the rib cage where the elbow
touches the body is where you place your hands for compression. Place one
hand over the other and clasp fingers together. Lock your elbows and
perform compressions approximately 2-3 inches deep. Do compressions first,
then a breath at the following rates:
Giant Dogs: 1 breath for every ten compressions, check for
Small, medium and large dogs: 1 breath for every five compressions, check
For cats or toy breed dogs, the technique is a little
different. Place the animal flat on the ground but place your hands on
either side of the chest directly behind the shoulder blades. Your palms
should be over the heart, sandwiching the animals' chest between both
hands. Begin compressions at only ½-1 inch deep and give one breath for
every three compressions, check for pulse.
For more information on pet cpr and first aid, visit
www.animals101.com and follow the links for CPR or register for a cpr
* American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA)
2001-2002 National Pet Owners Survey.
Go on to Facts Show
Iditarod Is Barbaric
Return to 20 February 2005 Issue
Return to Newsletters
** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this
not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the
copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright