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How to give CPR to your pets

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IDAHO FALLS – As a pet owner, one of your greatest fears may be, “What if something happens to my little sidekick? Will I be able to save them?”
Often, we can become overwhelmed when our pet gets sick, hurt or — worst-case scenario — are struggling to breathe.
The situation happens. Last week, the owner of a dog had to resuscitate the animal after a house fire in Idaho Falls.
Most of us at least have some idea what to do when a person isn’t breathing, but what can we do for our animal friends when they are in that situation?
Fortunately, it’s similar. But there are some notable differences to know that can save your pet’s life.
According to the ASPCA, pet CPR, like human CPR, “is an emergency, life-saving procedure that uses artificial respirations and chest compressions to help revive a dog when they aren’t breathing or don’t have a heartbeat.”
Just like with humans, when a pet’s heart stops beating, or they stop breathing, oxygen levels in the blood drop quickly.
Without oxygen, vital organs can fail. Once respiratory failure occurs, brain damage can take place, so it’s crucial to act quickly and efficiently when a furry friend is in danger.
Here are some tips from the Red Cross for how to perform CPR on your canine and feline family members:
1. Check to see if the animal is breathing and if they have a heartbeat.
The Canine Journal says you should start by checking the airway for any blockage.
Pull the tongue forward as far as possible and gently try to remove any objects in the throat or mouth.
If your pet reacts to you trying to remove the object, stop immediately to protect yourself from being bitten.
If your pet doesn’t react, you will need to perform CPR. Your pet’s heart is located on the left side of the chest.
If you do not see your pet’s chest moving and cannot find a heartbeat, begin CPR with chest compressions.
2. Give chest compressions.
How do you check a pet’s pulse?
According to the Canine Journal, the femoral artery, located on the inner thigh, is the easiest place to find your dog’s pulse.
To check for a cat’s pulse, Ethos Veterinary Health says to put your hands to their chest and count the beats that you feel for 15 seconds.
For cats a regular heat beat should be between 120 and 160 per minute, small dogs should be between 100 and 140 per minute, and bigger dogs should be between 60 to 100 beats per minute.
But how do you start chest compressions?
The ASPCA recommends for cats, small dogs and deep chested dogs, to place the heel of one of your hands directly over the pet’s heart and place your other hand directly over the first hand.
For deep chested dogs, place the heel of one hand over the widest part of the chest and place your other hand directly over the first hand.
For barrel chested dogs, place the dog on its back, place one hand over the widest part of the sternum, and place your other hand directly over the first hand. Lock your elbows and make sure your shoulders are directly above your hands.
Then, push hard and push fast at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute, compressing 1/3 to 1/2 the width of your pet’s chest. Make sure the chest comes back fully (recoils) before compressing again.
Perform 30 chest compressions.
3. Give rescue breaths
Don’t waste too much time attempting CPR yourself.
Cover your pet’s snout with your mouth and exhale until you see the pet’s chest rise. Give a second rescue breath.
4. Continue CPR
Continue giving CPR with a cycle of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until your dog or cat begins breathing again on its own.
5. Check again for breathing and a heartbeat.
Briefly check for breathing and a heartbeat every 2 minutes.
6. Get help.
Take the pet to the nearest vet clinic ASAP. When traveling there, gently close the pet’s mouth and extend the pet’s neck to open the airway.
If you’re able, continue CPR until you reach a veterinary hospital.
Everything said, the most important step you can take in keeping the people around you, and your pet, healthy and safe is to take a CPR class near you.
Check out the Red Cross here to sign up for a course and learn the skills that might help you save a life.
The post How to give CPR to your pets appeared first on East Idaho News.

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