Your love your dog dearly, as you do all your family members, so what would you do if your dog suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing? Panic would certainly not be the route to take since each moment makes a big difference in the life and death of your pet.
After about 3 to 5 minutes not breathing, your dog could suffer brain damage and after 10 minutes, the situation is definitely critical. You could very possibly save your dog if you could perform CPR on your canine best friend.
If your dog has fallen over and there is no sign of breath for 10 seconds, stay calm and begin CPR. You first need to check your pet’s mouth and throat to make sure the airway is open and clean. Lay your dog on his side, extending the head; open his mouth, pulling out his tongue, checking again for obstructions. If there is an obstruction, try to dislodge it by performing 5 to 10 abdominal thrusts, similar to doing a Heimlich maneuver. Your dog may regain consciousness, or you may still need to perform CPR. If the blockage is due to swelling, your dog needs to be treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Once you are sure the airway is clear but your dog is still not breathing, begin artificial respirations. Hold the mouth closed tightly and, placing your mouth around your dog’s nose or nose and mouth (depending on the dog’s size), give two breaths, watching for the chest to rise and the lungs to expand. Be careful not to give to much air, especially in small dogs. Wait for the air to be released before breathing again. Watch for your dog to start breathing on his own. If not, continue artificial respirations, 12 to 20 breaths per minute for a larger dog, and 20 to 25 small breaths for small dogs. At the same time, watch your dog’s chest near the left elbow and check for a heartbeat. If you suspect there is no heartbeat, begin cardiac compressions. This procedure also depends on your dog’s size.
If your dog is less than 10 pounds, hold your dog around his chest with your thumb on one side and four fingers on the other side, gently squeezing about 100 – 150 times a minute. If your dog is small but over 10 pounds, use the ball of your to compress his chest while using other hand to support his back. Compress his chest about 80 to 125 times per minute. If you do have a medium to larger dog, the process is about the same, using two hands to compress the widest part of the chest 80 – 120 times per minute. In either case, your dog should be on his back while you are leaning over him. It is a good idea to have your veterinarian on the phone with you at the time for guidance and professional advice.
You will want to get your dog to your veterinarian as quickly as possible for immediate treatment. If possible, transport your dog while someone is performing the CPR so as not to waste any valuable time.
Time is definitely of the essence when it comes to saving a life, including the life of your four legged best friend.