Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, commonly referred to as CPR, is an emergency procedure performed on people (or animals) suffering from cardiac arrest. Its purpose is to provide a constant flow of oxygen to the brain and lungs until the individual remains conscious. If you ever are faced with a situation where your protection dog is lying unconscious, you need to be prepared to take action immediately. When a dog becomes unconscious, respiratory arrest may occur, this is when you dog ceases to breathe on their own. Usually this occurs before cardiac arrest, which is the abrupt loss of heart function. After the breathing stops, the heart may continue to beat for several minutes. Taking action immediately and know exactly what to do could possibly mean either life or death for your dog.
It is always a good idea to get professional help when learning CPR for your protection dog. However, here are the basic steps of performing CPR on your dog. First, lay the dog on its side and be sure that the dog has stopped breathing by looking for the rise and fall of its chest or placing your hand in front of its nose and mouth to feel for a breath. Second, open the airway by extending the dog’s head and neck. Then open its mouth and check for any foreign objects, if an object is blocking the airway, use your fingers to remove it. Once the airway is clear, begin CPR, lift the chin to straighten their throat. Next, use one hand to grasp the muzzle and hold the mouth shut. Then put your mouth completely over the nose and gently exhale, the chest should expand. Now begin the compressions by placing one hand under the chest cavity and with the other hand press down on the chest 15 times. Repeat until your animal begins breathing, or when you decide to take it to a veterinarian immediately. These are just basic steps, but it is highly recommended that you properly train for this procedure in a class. Try contacting your vet to find out more information about possible animal CPR classes in your area. It is important to know that there are different method for the size of your dog. Due to their weight and how small their body is, smaller dogs need modifications on how you perform CPR. This could entail only using your thumb instead of your whole hand for compressions, especially for puppies. Also, if there is someone who you trust around, ask for their assistance. Having somebody for moral support and to assist you in breathing and the compressions could help you a lot. It is also very important to remember to stay calm while coming into this situation. As scary as it may seem, you do not want to become overwhelmed with emotions because time is very valuable. Know that your dog’s life is on the line and you have the chance to save them.
We know the value of a pet, whether it’s just a companion dog or a trained protection dog, we feel these animals are apart of our family. Just as if we would want to know how to save one of our child’s life’s it is equally important to know how to save our protection dogs life.