Knowing first aid techniques is usually something that we put on our “must learn” list, but that we always leave for another day.
Knowing first aid techniques is usually something that we put on our “must learn” list, but that we always leave for another day. Unfortunately, it is only at the time of the emergency that we realize how much not having learned simple lessons can mean the continuation of someone’s life.
For those who have dogs at home, the story is no different and many fathers and mothers of pets still do not know how to act if the dog chokes and cannot, on its own, get rid of what is blocking its throat.
To increase the level of safety at home and ensure that the dogs are well, even when they are ready for yours, we have prepared this guide teaching you how to disengage a dog, but after you do the procedure, immediately seek a veterinarian to evaluate your pet.
Dogs are subject to gagging on a daily basis, after all, many grains of food in the mouth without chewing, pieces of toys, pieces of clothing or objects that they find around the house and snap at can get stuck in the throat and cause a “God help us”.
When you hear that sound of a failed coughing attempt or notice an abnormal dog shake, go immediately to help him. Open the dog’s mouth and use your index finger as a “hook” (in smaller pets use your little finger) to remove what is blocking the dog’s airway.
Be careful, as some structures that are in the corner of the mouth can be confused with objects. Use a flashlight (it can be the cell phone) to get a better view of what you are doing and if there is anything there that needs to be removed.
If the food or object is out of reach, it will be necessary to put into practice a technique known as the Heimlich Maneuver, which is identical to the procedure performed on humans when they choke. Remember that it should only be done in case of suffocation, when the choking is very intense and the animal has a clear difficulty in breathing and not only in cases when he is coughing, for example.
Small and medium sized dogs
The technique for rescuing the fluffy varies according to the size of the animal. Let’s start by explaining the one indicated for dogs that are not very large and heavy, which you can pick up on your lap.
1 – Take the dog on your lap, positioning its back on its stomach, so that the pet’s legs are free and its neck is raised.
2 – Fold your hands around the dog, keeping your wrists just below the dog’s ribcage (ribs).
3 – Press your fists towards your belly and then upwards towards your chin. Repeat the movement three times and see if the dog managed to expel what was choking him. If not, repeat the procedure until you are successful or get veterinary medical attention. Despite being a more abrupt movement, be careful with the intensity, especially in smaller dogs.
Large or giant dogs
As it is not possible to keep the animal in the lap, the procedure should happen as follows:
1 – Place the dog on the floor and lie on its side.
2 – Get on your knees behind the pet and lean your legs against his spine.
3 – Close one hand and place it under the rib cage (same place mentioned above, you will feel a softer region, which is the animal’s stomach).
4 – The movement is identical to the previous one: force the closed hand inwards and towards the animal’s head, simultaneously. Repeat until the dog is disengaged or you get veterinary medical help.
In addition to learning the technique, it is very important that you share the teaching with the whole family, thus increasing the safety of the pet. In case of emergency, try to remain calm in order to apply the technique and help the dog in the best way.
Even if the dog apparently manages to expel what was bothering him, it is necessary to keep him under supervision for the next few hours and seek professional help for any sign of discomfort, such as difficulty in breathing, coughing and vomiting.
The “guardian angel” mission can only be concluded when the veterinarian attests that everything is really ok with your four-legged kid.