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How to Give First Aid to Your Dog

        Animals | Dog Care

How to Treat an Unconscious Dog
©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Steps 1a, 1b, and 1c

Your first priority when dealing with an unconscious dog is to get the heart beating and the dog breathing. Also be sure to watch for signs of shock, which include pale or white gums, a rapid heartbeat, or rapid breathing. Use the following tips to provide proper treatment to a dog that has lost consciousness.

Step 1: If you suspect choking, clear the dog's airway. If the dog is not choking, proceed to

Step 2.

Step 1a: Open the dog's mouth carefully by grasping the upper jaw with one hand over the muzzle.

Step 1b: Press the dog's lips over the upper teeth by pressing your thumb on one side and your fingers on the other so that the lips are between the dog's teeth and your fingers. Apply firm pressure to force the mouth open.

Step 1c: If you can see the object, try to remove it with your fingers.

Step 1d: If you cannot remove the object and the dog is small enough, pick it up by grasping its back legs; turn it upside down and shake vigorously. Slapping its back while shaking may help to dislodge the object.

Step 1e: If you cannot remove the object and the dog is too large to pick up, place the dog on its side on the floor. Place your hand just behind the rib cage and press down and slightly forward quickly and firmly. Release. Repeat rapidly several times until the object is expelled.

Step 1f: If you cannot dislodge the object, transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian.

Step 2: If the dog is breathing, check for shock. If the dog is not breathing, proceed to Step 3.

Step 2a: Examine the gums by gently lifting the upper lip so the gum is visible. Pale or white gums indicate the dog is almost certainly in shock and may have serious internal injuries and/or bleeding. If the gums are pink, the dog is probably not in shock.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 2c

Step 2b: Determine the heartbeat. Place fingers firmly on the dog about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the center of its chest. Count the number of beats in 10 seconds and multiply by 6. If the dog is in shock its heartbeat may be more than 150 beats per minute.

Step 2c: Place the dog on its side with its head extended. Gently pull out the dog's tongue to keep the airway open.

Step 2d: Elevate the dog's hindquarters slightly by placing them on a pillow or folded towels. To conserve body heat, wrap the dog in a blanket or jacket.

Step 2e: Transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian.

Step 3: Feel for a heartbeat by placing your fingers about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the middle of its chest.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 3

Step 4: If the dog's heart is not beating, proceed to Step 5. If it is, perform artificial respiration.

Step 4a: Turn the dog on its side.

Step 4b: Hold the dog's mouth and lips closed and blow firmly into its nostrils. Administer 1 breath every 3 to 5 seconds. Take a deep breath, and repeat until you feel resistance or see the dog's chest rise.

Step 4c: After 10 seconds, stop. Watch the chest for movement to indicate the dog is breathing on its own.

Step 4d: If the dog is not breathing, continue artificial respiration.

Step 5: If the heart is not beating, perform CPR.

CPR for Dogs Weighing up to 45 Pounds

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 5c

Step 5a: Turn the dog on its back.

Step 5b: Kneel down at the head of the dog.

Step 5c: Clasp your hands over the dog's chest with your palms resting on either side of its chest.

Step 5d: Compress your palms on the chest firmly for a count of "2," and release for a count of "1." Moderate pressure is required. Repeat about 60 to 90 times per minute.

Step 5e: Alternately (after 30 seconds), hold the dog's mouth and lips closed and blow firmly into its nostrils. Blow for 3 seconds, take a deep breath, and repeat until you feel resistance or see the dog's chest rise. Try to repeat this 10 to 20 times per minute. As a general rule, use a CPR ratio of about 5 heart compressions to 1 breath of air.

Step 5f: After 1 minute, stop. Look at the chest for breathing movement, and feel for a heartbeat by placing your fingers about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the center of its chest.

Step 5g: If the dog's heart is not beating, continue CPR. If the heart starts beating, but the dog is still not breathing, return to Step 4.

CPR for Dogs Weighing more than 45 Pounds

©2006 Publications International, Ltd. Step 5b

Step 5a: Turn the dog on its side.

Step 5b: Place the palm of your hand in the middle of the dog's chest.

Step 5c: Press for a count of "2," and release for a count of "1." Firm pressure is required. Repeat about 60 to 90 times per minute.

Step 5d: Alternately (after 30 seconds), hold the dog's mouth and lips closed and blow firmly into its nostrils. Blow for 3 seconds, take a deep breath, and repeat until you feel resistance or see the chest rise. Try to repeat this 10 to 20 times per minute.

Step 5e: After 1 minute, stop. Look at the chest for breathing movement, and feel for a heartbeat by placing your fingers about 2 inches behind the dog's elbow in the center of its chest.

Step 5f: If the dog's heart is not beating, continue CPR. If the heart starts beating but the dog is still not breathing, return to Step 4.

Step 6: Transport the dog immediately to the veterinarian. CPR or artificial respiration should be continued on the way to the veterinarian or until the dog is breathing and its heart is beating without assistance.

Like diarrhea, vomiting is not necessarily a serious problem unless a dog becomes dehydrated. Check the next page for tips on what potential problems to look for.


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