How to Help a Dog that has Stopped Breathing

Dogs can stop breathing for many reasons, but if it not because of death, there are several things you can do to help him or her. The main cause of difficult breathing in dogs is a stuck object in the animal’s throat. Balls, toys and bones are the main culprits here and they can be very discomforting and life threatening if the pet is not taken care of as soon as possible. Learn how you can stop the choking and preferably prevent a need to involve vets.


Identify the Signs

If your dog starts to gag relentlessly, frequent salivating and general weariness, there is a possibility that it may have choked. Coughing, producing mucus like membranes and sometimes collapsing are advanced stages of a choking dog. If you still aren’t sure if the pet has a stuck object in it, vets advice that you try listening to its heart, which generally is very fast pacing in the event of choking. You may also blow air through the dog’s nose and see if it goes through. In a healthy dog, blown air inside its system moves in quite easily. This is unfortunately not the case for a dog with a stuck object.

First Aid

As we have already mentioned, choking can be life threatening. Even in human beings, choking could easily take you to the grave if you don’t get immediate help. Likewise for your favorite pet, delayed first aid could lead to the dog suffocating and possibly dying. Once you notice the stuck object therefore, your immediate concern should be on how to remove it. The first tip as you can watch in the link posted below is to insert your index finger at the back of the tongue and try to remove it. The dog’s throat and anatomy is obviously very different from ours and it is also easier when removing such things as a stuck ball.

Take a lot of caution though, and it is advisable not to try and reach objects that may be a bit far deep inside with your fingers. You may damage the animal’s soft tissues, which in the end will be a counterproductive endeavor. Another recommended tip is to put pressure on the dog’s diaphragm, preferably while holding it with the head facing down. Put your hands behind the rib cage and try to put pressure for a few minutes. In most cases, this tip has worked just fine. Some vets also recommend putting force at the back of the lower jaw with your two thumbs until you force the stuck item out. But at all times, be gentle on the animal to avoid making it uncomfortable or restless.

Finally, where the tips mentioned above fails to work for your dog, the next step should be to head to the vet’s office as soon as possible. Along the way you may try chest compressions to keep it breathing albeit with the object still inside before the vet finally sedates it for further examinations and possible treatment.

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