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Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook

ARTIFICIAL RESPIRATION AND HEART MASSAGE

Artificial respiration is an emergency procedure used to assist breathing in an unconscious dog. Heart massage is used when no heartbeat can be heard or felt. When combined with artificial respiration, it is called cardiopulmonary resuscitation. As cessation of breathing is soon followed by heart stoppage, and vice versa, cardiopulmonary resuscitation frequently is required to sustain life.

Heart massage by itself provides for both movement of air and pumping of blood. For best results, combine heart massage with forced mouth-to-nose breathing. This requires two people, one to administer heart massage and one to give mouth-to-nose breathing.

The following emergencies may require artificial respiration and/or heart massage:Shock

Poisoning, Prolonged Seizure, Coma, Head Injury, Electric Shock, Obstructed Airways (Choking), Sudden Death

In artificial respiration, two methods are used. The chest compression technique consists of applying force to the chest wall, which pushes air out and allows the elastic recoil of the chest to draw air back in. It is the easiest to perform.

Mouth-to-nose forced respiration is used when the compression technique is ineffective, or when the chest is punctured (pneumothorax).


- How to lay a dog on its side. (J. Clawson)

Artificial Respiration

Steps in Chest Compression:

1. Feel for pulse or heartbeat.

2. Open mouth and clear away secretions. Check for a foreign body. If found, remove if possible. If impossible to reach, execute the Heimlich maneuver.



3. Lay the dog on a flat surface with the right side down.

4. Place both hands on the chest and press down sharply. Release quickly. If properly performed, you should be able to hear air moving in and out. If you can't, proceed with mouth-to-nose resuscitation.

5. Continue until the dog breathes on its own, or as long as the heart beats.

Steps in Mouth-to-Nose Resuscitation:

1. Perform steps I and 2 in Chest Compression.

2. Pull the tongue forward and close the mouth. Seal the lips with your hand.

3. Place your mouth over the dog's nose and blow in steadily for three seconds. The chest will expand. Release to let the air come back out.

4. Continue until the dog breathes on its own, or as long as the heart beats.

 

Heart Massage

Steps in Small Dogs and Puppies:

1. Perform steps I and 2 in Chest Compression.

2. Lay the dog on its side. Place your thumb on one side of the sternum and your fingers on the other, just behind the elbows.

3. Compress the chest firmly six times. Wait five seconds to let the chest

expand; then repeat.

4. Continue until the heart beats on its own, or until no heartbeat is felt for live minutes.


- Heart Massage

Steps in Larger Dogs:

1. Repeat steps I and 2 in Chest Compression.

2. Lay the dog on a flat surface with the right side down.

3. Place the heel of your hand on the rib cage just behind the elbow (over the heart).

4. Compress the chest firmly six times. Wait five seconds to let the chest expand; then repeat.

5. Continue until the heart beats on its own, or until no heartbeat is felt for five minutes.

 


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