Dogs, especially when they are dogs, love to explore and can pick up anything they find along the way. These things can break, and there is a possibility of choking with pieces. Even cats, who are more selective in their food, can suffer from this type of accident.
Any ingested content, such as toys, bone chips, and even food and water, can block the trachea, causing the characteristic choking cough and difficulty breathing. Therefore, it is important to know how to help the pet in these moments.
To help teachers know what to do, veterinarian Fernanda Ambrosino has prepared a quick guide to identifying a choking animal and what to do to provide first aid at home.
- Frequent and persistent coughing to clear the throat – Excessive coughing can interfere with the animal’s breathing, so the pet’s cough requires attention.
- Pronounced pain, with constant movement and sometimes in circles, bringing the claw to the nose or mouth in an attempt to remove the object.
- Imitation of vomiting and salivation are signs that something is blocking the pet’s throat.
- A purple tongue and purple or bluish gums indicate an obstruction that causes shortness of breath, which can lead to fainting and even death.
What do you do when your pet chokes?
Check the pet’s mouth to see if there is any foreign object stuck in the throat. With another person holding the dog, open the pet’s mouth and position the tongue slightly to the side to visualize the throat.
If you see something stuck in place, use tweezers or something similar to remove it, being careful not to push it further in. Care must be taken to remove bones or other objects that crack easily to avoid cutting and puncturing the airway.
If you can’t see any things, don’t keep looking!
Hold the pet with its back against your chest, hug the pet with both hands below the sternum (the bone in the middle of the chest) and press up in order to compress the diaphragm and expel the object blocking the passage of air.
Be careful not to harm the animal, and only do this if you are sure it is choking and is having trouble breathing.
If the pet is medium or small, it is possible to lift the animal by its hind legs (very carefully) and hold it upside down and give it a slight vibration or pat on the back so that gravity helps release the body.
In larger pets, keep the front paws on the ground and raise the back paws as you tilt the animal forward.
Back slap (dogs only)
Using the palm of your hand, strike four or five strokes between the dog’s shoulder blades (“shoulders”), being careful to use excessive force in the case of small pets so as not to injure their joints and bones.
If the pet does not improve despite all attempts, it must be urgently referred to the nearest veterinary clinic!
If you can get rid of the blockage at home, the teacher should calm the animal and make sure that it is breathing normally. Next, it is important to make an appointment as soon as possible so that the vet can assess if anything else is getting in the way of the pet’s throat and make sure there is no injury or injury.
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