Toronto Veterinarians - Pet Wellness Network


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Contact Willowdale Animal Hospital

Open 24 Hours, Year Round

256 Sheppard Ave. West
Toronto, ON M2N 1N3
(416) 222-5409

Living by the beach is a nice luxury but it does come with some responsibilities. It’s never fun to talk about situations where you pet is in fatal danger but let’s face it situations do arise where it is important to know how to react and what to do. The risk of your cat or dog swallowing water and not being able to breathe when down by the lake are considerably increased. This is not to stay the beach or inhaling water is the only reason your pet might stop breathing but it is a situation where it is more likely to occur. So as a diligent Beaches-dwelling pet-owner myself, I am here to give you the step-by-step guide to animal CPR.

Even before you start with the ABCs of CPR ensure your own safety. Approach your pet carefully to and make sure they aren’t going to come-to and bite or scratch you. Even the sweetest pet can nip at you when they’re afraid.

A for Airways!
·Check to see if your pet is breathing. Feel over their mouth and nose for any breath. Feel and look at their chest for any movement.

·Once you have confirmed they’re breathing, tilt the animal’s head back and pull their tongue out just a bit to open their airway. Next, hold the animal’s mouth closed, cup their nose and breathe two breaths directly into their nostrils.

·If air goes in proceed to “B,” for Breathing!

·If the air does not go in it means something is obstructing the animal’s airway and you’ll need to find out what it is and remove it. Do not move onto the next step until the airway is clear.

B for Breathing!
·If your breath has gone in continue the mouth-to-snout breathing at a rate of one breath every three seconds for an average of twenty breaths per minute.

·You’ll want to give just enough air to make their chest rise.

·For large dogs you’ll need most of your lung capacity for medium dogs use less and for very small dogs and cats use very little.

·Also – Watch your fingers! Working with an animal that is having respiratory distress does have the risk of being bitten as they struggle for air.

C for Circulation!
·You want to make sure the animal’s heart is also working.

·Check their femoral pulse. You’ll find this on the inside of their hind legs near the top of the leg.

·Alternatively check their apical pulse. This is located on the outside of the front left leg just behind their shoulder.

·If there is no pulse present you must begin chest compression. Lay the animal on its right side, and then locate the middle of their chest, which is approximately where the left elbow touches the ribcage.

·Continue with a pattern of 12-15 compressions and then 2-3 breaths until there is a pulse and the animal is breathing on their own.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation where animal CPR is needed, do the best you can you get them to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible. For more information call or visit the Beaches Animal Hospital and they will gladly answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding animal resuscitation.

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