Canine CPR, Heimlich maneuver instructions for dog owners

CANTON, OH (WOIO) - Pet owners and lovers are taking the time to learn how to do canine CPR and the Heimlich maneuver in case their dog is in distress.

"We want to teach the chain of survival when it comes to canine CPR and first aid," said Erica Abramson.

Certified law enforcement officers -- Erica and Nick Abramson -- are teaching other first responders and pet owners canine prevention, early recognition and emergency care.

"If you are trained for canine CPR and first aid, you'd know what to do, you can jump into action and possibly save that dog," she said.

Puppies like their 10 week old, Medusa, are prone to putting dangerous things in their mouths.

"Dogs tend to choke on chicken bones because they splinter. If you catch yourself in that situation where your dog is choking on an object, our course teaches your how to perform the Heimlich maneuver and where to put your hands to dislodge the object that's stuck in the dog's throat," she said.

So if that kind of emergency arises, first recognize what's happening to the dog.

"It's going to be scratching at its head or ears and it's going to be making a cacking, hacking, coughing sound," said Nick, who is a patrolman and SWAT medic.

He said to let the dog try and free what they're choking on themselves first. If he's unsuccessful, step in.

"You want to take your hand and make it into a first with your thumb over lapping your index finger. Put it right underneath, with your palm right underneath the stomach area. If it's a female dog, where the nipple line is," he said.

Hike the dog up, bringing its back feet off the ground.

"You would squeeze on the abdomen and that would cause the amount of pressure and force to dislodge the object that's in the mouth," he said.

Nick said continue this until something is coughed up, or the dog loses consciousness. If that happens, it's time for canine CPR.
Look, listen and feel for breathing. While you're doing that, place your hand at the artery at the inner part of the back left leg to check for a pulse.
Bigger, thicker necks, and fur tend to make checking at the neck more difficult. If there is no pulse, then lay them on their right side to locate the heart.

"You bring their paw and their arm back and their elbow will go right back to the point where their heart is located," he said.

From there it's just like compressions on a human.

"You want to go an inch, inch and a half depth," he said.

The ratio is 30 compressions to two breaths. But can you, and would you do mouth to mouth on a dog? Nick said to get a good seal, it's actually mouth to snout.

"You close off the mouth with the tongue. The tongue makes a seal, plus it gets it out of the back so it doesn't fall back into the dog's trachea," said Nick.

While you're doing it, make sure the chest is rising to confirm that your breath went in. You're looking to accomplish about 100 beats or compressions per minute. Keep it up until the dog is revived or until you can get additional help.

The couple said to prevent incidents of choking from happening in the first place, make sure there are lids on trash cans, and small toys are out of reach.

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