Dogs are exuberant and curious animals that have the inclination of getting any object into their mouths. As a result, dogs would swallow bones, stones, plastic toys, slivers of wood and big chunks of food. One of the most common reasons why dog are taken to emergency facilities is chocking. A blockage that will obstruct the airways will be created by the swallowed object. Chocking is an extremely dangerous situation that would need first aid lest it results to the death of the dog.

Chocking can happen to any dog thus an owner has the responsibility of knowing what must be done to help the pet. No doubt, veterinarians can administer the right procedures to help a choking pet but first aid would certainly save the life of the pet.

Choking and coughing have very similar symptoms. A pet owner must carefully ascertain if the dog is really choking and not simply coughing. Chocking first aid on a coughing dog would have disastrous results. The swallowed object that gets lodged in the throat can result to partial of total obstruction of the airways. A dog can die if the swallowed object is not removed immediately.

Gagging and vomiting are signs that a dog’s airway is blocked. A choking dog would continuously paw at the mouth and salivate excessively. It would be apparent that the dog finds it hard to breathe. Naturally, a panicking owner that wants to help the pet would do so by opening the mouth. Because of the stress, a normally gentle pet can turn into an aggressive dog. Be very cautious in opening the dog’s mouth. As a precautionary measure against dog bite position the lips of the dog between the teeth and your fingers. It would be a good idea to ask another person’s help in restraining the dog. Carefully and gently sweep the opened mouth with your finger. Tweezers or long nosed pliers can be used to remove the foreign object that causes the chocking, however be very careful not to cause the dog further harm.

To help a chocking pet, the Heimlich maneuver is commonly used to remove a blockage far down the dog’s throat. For a medium sized dog, you can grasp the hind legs and position the pet in a wheel barrow style. Position a fist behind the last rib and push forward several times until the blockage is dislodged.

Sarah’s Dogs has more information about what to do if your dog is choking and first aid for dogs.

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