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THE HEIMLICH MANEUVER ON PETS
(THIS LOOKS A LOT EASIER TO DO THAN IT ACTUALLY IS, BEARING IN MIND THAT YOU AND YOUR PET COULD WELL BE PANICKED - DO ASK YOUR VET TO SHOW YOU HOW TO CHECK FOR CHOKING AND SHOW YOU WHAT TO DO, THE NEXT TIME YOU VISIT VET)
As the majority of dogs will chew virtually anything, it is important that you know that to do if a blockage does occur – in and instance such as this, you need to take immediate action as there is the possibility that the dog could suffocate.
If your dog does choke on something, what is very important is that you remain calm and restrain the dog, gently and firmly – between your legs is a good way to do this, or if small breed, as per the pictures above.. Your dog may already be panicking and adding your panic to the situation will just make things worse. Try to talk softly and calmly while you are removing the object.
You want to open the dogs mouth wide with both hands, at the same time press the lips over the dog’s teeth.
It really is a good idea to practice doing this to your dog on a regular basis. This will remove one aspect of stress if the procedure is done in an emergency. To practice doing it, open the mouth as above, and immediately reward with praise and a special treat. You can start off just opening the mouth slightly as the dog may well be resisting. If the dog turns its head away while you are trying to open the mouth, don’t resist, rather go in the direction the dogs head is moving. Once the dog gets used to you opening a little and being treated, you can gradually increase the opening, until you can open the full way – constantly reward with treats. Rather go slowly and make sure the dog is comfortable at each stage before opening the mouth further.
Look inside and see if you can remove the item with your fingers. If you have a hankey or piece or dish towel, use this, as the object in the mouth may well be slippery and the material will help you to get a good hold.
If the object has jammed on the teeth or roof of the mouth, the back of a spoon can be used to remove the object if you cannot release with your fingers. If the dog is not in any danger of choking with an object jammed as above, get to the vet as soon as possible, as you risk doing damage yourself if you don't know what you are doing.
You can also do the Heimlich maneuver. This is hard to do but may help to dislodge the obstacle. A good idea, is next time you are at the vet, ask them to demonstrate to you how to do it. Even if the object is removed, a visit to the vet immediately is required as there may have been some harm done which is not visible to the naked eye.
The You Tube video below by a vet shows options you can try if your dog is choking.