When a foreign object gets stuck in the dog’s throat or his windpipe gets compressed, the dog may choke.
Luckily, choking is not a very common emergency because it simply doesn’t happen so often. More often than not, people think their dog is choking whereas they are actually just coughing. So yes, a dog sounds like choking when he is actually just coughing.
Confusing and stressful, I know!
Both choking and coughing have the same clinical signs, where the dog is forcing air out of his lungs.
If you think your dog is choking, follow these procedures:
If the dog is unconscious
Step 1: Check if something stuck in the throat. Place your finger on his tongue and slide your finger inside the throat.
Make very small “wiggling” movements towards the center or the throat. If something is stuck, you will find it this way. Try to remove it without damaging the tissue.
Step 2: Perform CPR. If you’re unable to blow air into the dog’s lungs, something may be stuck deeper inside the throat. If this is the case, proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Hit the chest wall in order to give a burst of air out of the lungs, this may help to move the object outwards. If this doesn’t work, place 1 arm around his abdomen, near the bottom of the rib cage, and 1 hand on the spine.
Push firmly on the abdomen towards the spine. (This is called the Heimlich maneuver).
Step 4: Repeat all steps until the object is removed and you’re able to inflate the lungs.
Step 5: Take your dog to the vet immediately!
If you have a friend or partner with you, 1 person can drive to the vet while the other one attempts to remove the object and perform rescue breathing!
Please note: Jus like humans, dogs have an Adam’s apple (also called larynx). It feels like a soft bone and is situated in the deeper end of the throat. Do NOT pull it out!
If the dog is conscious
Dog choking but still breathing? Awesome. However, your dog is likely to be in panic. Calm the dog down and make him as comfortable as possible. Do not attempt to put your finger in the dog’s mouth! The risk of getting bitten is extremely high! Rush to the vet ASAP!
Thank you for staying with me, I hope you've learned some useful information.
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