Being a pet owner is like caring for a child. You feed them, bathe them, and give them endless love, and you feel helpless when they’re hurt or in pain. In those scary situations, it helps to be prepared so that you know exactly what to do to save your pet’s life.
When your cat or dog is choking, for example, there are lifesaving techniques you can perform at home when every minute counts. Most people have heard of the Heimlich maneuver, which assists people who are choking. But some pet owners may not be aware that the procedure works on animals, too! So if your cat or dog starts choking on a foreign object, here’s what to do.
If your cat is unconscious, try pulling her tongue toward you to dislodge the obstruction. However, do NOT put your fingers into the cat’s mouth unless you can see the object. Otherwise, you could push the object further down your cat’s throat and put her in even more jeopardy.
If the object comes out on its own and your cat seems to be breathing normally, you shouldn’t need to take any further action. However, if you still can’t see the object, you should prepare your cat for the Heimlich maneuver.
Once the obstruction has been removed, check your cat’s breathing to make sure she doesn’t require CPR. However, if the Heimlich is not successful, strike your cat five times on the back blows directly between her shoulder blades, then repeat the abdominal thrusts again. If this still doesn’t work, get your cat to a vet immediately.
If your large dog has become unconscious, lay him on his side and perform compressions by placing both palms on his stomach (just behind the last rib) and pushing down a few times quickly and firmly.
This should dislodge the object so that your dog can breathe normally again. If not, seek immediate veterinary attention.
No matter what size your pet is, it’s important to remember one last thing: Even if you successfully remove the foreign object from your choking cat or dog, you should still take them to a vet to make sure they didn’t suffer any lasting damage.
Hopefully you’ll never need to use the Heimlich maneuver on your pets, but it’s good to be prepared just in case!
Share this lifesaving technique with all the pet owners in your life!