What to do if your dog is choking

Stay calm, collected and follow these simple steps

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 05 June 2018 12:27 BST

Not knowing what to do when your dog is choking is a prospect that likely strikes fear into the hearts of many, especially those whose pets are prone to chewing on any object that they can get their paws on.

Rather than descend into a state of sheer panic, learning how to perform a Heimlich manoeuvre on your dog could help clear their windpipe safely and swiftly when blocked.

A Twitter user who goes by the name Kass has shared a diagram that demonstrates various techniques that you can employ if you find yourself in that particular predicament.

Thousands of people have found her recommendations very useful, with the viral tweet garnering nearly 80,000 retweets and more than 90,000 likes.

Kass has made it clear that she’s not a trained veterinary professional and that individuals should always call their vet if their pet has stopped breathing.

In another tweet, she explained that she follows the steps in a different order to the one outlined by the diagram.

The first step from the diagram that she has followed in the past with her own pet is to sharply pat the dog with your hand in between the shoulder blades.

Next, she holds the dog by its hind legs like a wheelbarrow so that the object causing it discomfort may become dislodged.

The third step involves holding the dog’s jaws open and using your finger to sweep from side to side to see if you can remove the stuck object.

However, with this stage it’s essential that you only carry it out if you can see the object that’s making the animal choke.

As another Twitter user pointed out, some breeds such as terriers may instinctively clench their jaws shut when they’re in distress, which is why you need to tread with caution when putting your fingers in their mouths.

Next, Kass uses her fist to compress her dog’s abdomen from underneath.

According to the Veterinary Information Network, it’s essential that you make the distinction between whether your dog is choking or simply has a cough.

When coughing, your pet should still be able to inhale sufficiently.

The organisation recommends performing a Heimlich manoeuvre or a finger sweep of the mouth if the animal is unconscious.

However, if your dog is awake, you need to exercise your judgement when debating whether it’s wise to place your fingers in its mouth or not.

When in doubt, seeking your vet’s professional advice is the safest course of action.

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