Are you a dog lover or someone who just likes to help when a choking dog needs it? If so, then this article might come in handy for people like you. Here are some basic techniques to save a dog from choking.
Why do Dogs Frequently Choke?
The nature of dogs who always snoop or pry on almost everything can cause them to choke often. Once plastic bags, socks, sticks, or toys get into the wrong way, it will leave them unable to breathe.
What Happens if The Airway is Blocked?
Choking can be extremely dangerous when things get stuck in the back of the throat and block the airway. When the airway gets partially blocked, your dog can start pacing back and forth, retching, and pawing at their mouth.
However, when the airway is totally blocked, that becomes alarming because they can’t make any sound at all.
What to do to Help your Dog?
1. Remove the object manually or use tweezers
As the owner or someone who cares, you can open their mouth and look inside. You can use a pair of tweezers to remove a piece of bone or stick or just reach into its mouth. You may also ask the assistance of others so that it can be done quickly and effectively. Just be careful not to get bitten.
2. Watch out for stuck objects
Other dogs, such as Labrador retrievers, have an additional cavity in the mouth where objects get stuck. Solid objects lodged at the back of their throat requires removal by holding the mouth open with the help of another person.
3. Protect your fingers
Carefully press the lips over the teeth so that you can protect your fingers. The other person needs to reach into the mouth of the dog using forceps or tweezers to grasp the object and remove it.
What not to do?
- Don’t push the object using your fingers because it may be lodged deeper
- Avoid sticking your fingers down the throat or do a finger sweep to locate the object because it can cause damage to the back of the throat
- Avoid getting bitten by not protecting yourself first
Large objects can sometimes get dislodged by just putting firm pressure with both thumbs beneath the jaw at the throat’s base and pushing forward.
If That Didn’t Work
For Small Dogs
- Just pick the dog up by holding both its thighs and shake gently 3-4 times using a downward motion.
For Big Dogs
- Ask somebody to help you hold the hind legs like a wheelbarrow and try to support the dog’s head downwards.
- Put your arms around the belly if the dog is standing and make a fist using one hand. The other hand on top should push upward and forward firmly behind the ribcage.
- Place one hand on the back for support if the dog is lying down. Use the other hand to squeeze the abdomen up and forward.
Then, check the mouth and remove any object that is probably dislodged below with your fingers.
If all else fails, don’t hesitate to phone the nearest veterinarian and have your dog checked right away.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.