Here is a breif run down on CPR for your dog or cat. Please 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 on the way to the emergency veterinarian, a your dogs life may be saved!
Any animal, no matter how docile and sweet, can become fiercely protective of himself when in pain so be very careful when approaching an injured animal. *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 listen.
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, begin CPR.
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 pulse
Small, medium and large dogs: 1 breath for every five compressions, check for pulseFor 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.
If you can get certified in pet cpr and first aid - it could be what saves your dog someday.