Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dog Medical Emergencies Survey: Is Choking an Emergency?

79.41% survey participants checked choking as being an emergency.


If your dog is choking, they need help right away. There is no doubt about that. The bottom line, however, is that they need help much faster than you can get them to a vet. You need to perform first aid before seeking veterinary assistance.

You need to man up (or is it person up now?) and try and help your dog.


Choking is a result of a blocked airway. The difference between choking and coughing is that, unlike with coughing, your dog will have a hard time breathing in.

The first aid for choking is removing the object that is blocking the air. You can try and see whether you can reach and remove the object with your finger. If you cannot find or reach the object, the next step is the Heimlich maneuver.



One of the reputable websites that outline first aid for a choking dog well is peteducation.com. I also recommend you brush up on your first aid knowledge and skills, while at it because this is one of the times when what you do is vital.

If your dog became unconscious, you will need to perform CPR as well.



After the whole ordeal is over, it is still the best idea to take your dog to an emergency vet in most cases.


I admit that when Cookie started choking on a dental rawhide, I did not rush her to a vet. Firstly, it rawhide got stuck to the soft palate, partially blocking the air but not entering the airways. Cookie could still breathe, just with difficulty. Cookie never stopped breathing or lost consciousness. I was able to remove the whole thing quickly, and Cookie was immediately back to her normal self.

Seeking veterinary help after a choking incident might be a judgment call but always err on the side of caution.


If my dog stopped breathing or lost consciousness at any point, I'd proceed to the emergency clinic. If my dog continued to have difficulties I'd see a vet right away. If there were any doubt that the whole object might not have been removed, I'd be on my way.


Related articles:
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey
Dog Medical Emergencies Survey Results
Is Unproductive Retching an Emergency?
Is Difficulty Breathing an Emergency?
Is Panting an Emergency?
Is Severe Pain an Emergency?
Is Limping an Emergency?
Is Vomiting Bile in the Morning an Emergency?
Is Profuse Vomiting an Emergency?
Are Convulsions or Seizures an Emergency?
Is Loss of Appetite an Emergency?
Is Reduced Activity an Emergency?
Is Severe Lethargy an Emergency?
Is Inability to Stand an Emergency?
Is Inability to Urinate an Emergency?
Are Cuts and Abrasions an Emergency?
Is Bleeding an Emergency?
Is Blood in Vomit an Emergency?
Is Fresh Blood in Stool an Emergency?
Is Black, Tarry Stool an Emergency?
Are Pale Gums an Emergency?
Is an Unresponsive Dog an Emergency?
Is Coughing an Emergency?



Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog now available in paperback and Kindle. Each chapter includes notes on when it is an emergency.

24 comments

  1. This just validates how important pet first aid is. I do not know the pet heimlich, but I definitely want to learn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it is important and first aid for choking is probably the most important of them all because with dogs, the likelyhood they might choke on something through their lives is relatively quite high.

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for this video on performing the Heimlich manoeuvre on a dog! I have read "how to's" but this really helps make it more understandable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Videos are so much easier to follow than a description most of the time.

      Delete
  3. I did a pet first aid course, focused on cats, they covered the Heimlich procedure and also demonstrated that a cat (or small dog) could be turned upside down - a WOW moment for me, as I had not thought of that. Logical if you think abut it, and I was so glad I did the course!

    Every pet parent should know this - thank for a post taht could make a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, M. Yes, knowledge is power. And knowing first aid can save lives.

      Delete
  4. Thank you for posting this! It's amazing what our dogs will chew and swallow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, if it fits into the mouth it's fair game, right? That's how they see it, anyway :-) And it's harder and harder, as the amount of man-made, inedible objects only grows every year.

      Delete
  5. I need to know how to do the Heimlich on a tiny dog ...a 3.5 pound one. Is it different? I feel a vet chat coming. Luckily my boy isn't a chewer so ... at least that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo_1OHNc_w4

      Delete
  6. I should brush up on the dog heimlich. It's different for small dogs vs big dogs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is and yes you should :-)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo_1OHNc_w4

      Delete
  7. I should definitely look into this more just in case of emergency. Thank you for sharing the videos- they are very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's good to know what to do should this happen.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for the link to the small dog video! I just watched it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome; I hope it was useful to you.

      Delete
  9. This is a great post! Choking is one of my biggest fears and I appreciate having this information to refer too.Definitely going to save this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can happen so easily ... though I hope it never happens neither to your or my dog(s). Cookie's one time was very mild, all it took was removing the chew.

      Delete
  10. Truffle was choking on something about a year ago. She was breathing, but it was obvious something was wrong. I couldn't see anything, but she eventually threw up the corner of a plastic envelope she'd chewed off. She was fine afterwards. I keep all plastic out of her reach now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad things worked out ok. Plastic can be quite dangerous anywhere in the body.

      Delete
  11. Excellent post. I'm trained in pet CPR/First Aid and totally advocate for it! I am sharing on my Pinterest Bark About board and on my FiveSibes Facebook page and Twitter!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I hope it never happens to any reader but if it does I hope they'll know what to do.

      Delete
  12. Absolutely! Chocking is definitely an emergency. As much as I'd say rush to the vet, I think knowing CPR is a game changer. This is an important post. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely. Our vet is almost an hour away, for example. Way too long for a dog to make it without immediate first aid.

      Delete

MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig