CPR or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is a combination of chest compressions and artificial respirations. It is performed when your pet stops breathing due to electrocution, chocking, drowning, etc. We fully recommend you to take a vet recommended first aid course to get the full benefits. These directions assume the animal is unconscious and the risk of being bitten by the animal is not present.
Performing CPR in cats and dogs is similar to that of humans. Follow “the ABC rule”.
- Try to stay calm. Call for help.
- Make sure that you are safe from environmental hazards like live wires, slippery floors, etc.
- Quickly assess the airway and breathing.
- Open mouth and pull the tongue forward
- Make sure the air passage is clear. If not, remove the object obstructing the air passage.
- Look and listen for breath sounds and chest rise and fall.
- If not breathing, check for a heartbeat.
- Place your hand or ear over the chest where the elbow meets the ribcage. If you cannot hear/feel a heartbeat, start CPR.
30:2 ratio i.e. 30 chest compressions to 2 artificial breaths
- Place your pet on their right side on a firm, flat surface.
- Dogs with barrel-shaped chests need to be lying on their backs and CPR compressions are done at the midpoint of the chest.
- Compress the chest at 2 per second at the widest part of the chest.
- For large dogs, use both hands interlocked.
- For small dogs, use one hand.
- For cats, use one hand to compress the chest from both sides while they are lying on their side.
- Each compression should depress the chest by a half to two thirds and the chest should be allowed to return to the normal position after each compression.
- Keep your arms straight and if you have someone with you, swap regularly as the process is very tiring.
- After 30 compression, extend their neck, close the mouth and blow down their nose. Give 2 breaths of 1 second, allowing 1 second for the chest to fall.
- It is possible to create a seal with your mouth around small dog’s noses, but for larger dogs you need to close the sides of the nostrils with your hand and blow down the nostrils from the front.
- Check for a heartbeat
Ø If the dog is still not breathing and there is no heartbeat, repeat the process - giving 30 compression and 2 breaths - until veterinary help arrives or until the heartbeat and breathing return.
Ø Even if your pet’s heartbeat and breathing return, you should take your pet to the vet as an emergency.