Dogs can choke on various items.  They can get them stuck in the back of their throat and cause them to choke.  They can choke on a rawhide, a big lump of grass, a rock, a bone, springs and metal pieces from gadgets, sticks, etc.

If your dog is choking on something, but he is still breathing okay and he is trying to cough it up on his own, go ahead and let him try to cough it up without interfering.  If he begins wheezing, gasping for air, or pawing at his face you need to try to help him immediately.  You should pull your dog’s mouth open wide and look inside.  You can try to pull the object out if you can see it and if you can reach it.

If the method above doesn’t work, there are three other things that you can try.

The first method that you can try is to pick your dog up by his hind legs with his head hanging down to see if gravity will dislodge the object.  If you have a little dog, you can lift him up all the way and give him a few shakes to try to dislodge the object.  If you have a bigger dog that you can’t lift, leave his front legs on the ground and lift his hind legs up like a wheelbarrow and tilt him forward to try to dislodge the object.

The second method is to do back blows.  To give back blows, use the heel of your hand to give your dog four to five sharp blows between his shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object.

The third method is the canine Heimlich Maneuver which is a lot like the Heimlich Maneuver humans use.  Put your arms around your dog’s waist, grab your fist, and place your thumbs in the soft spot right under your dog’s rib cage.  Make sure his head is pointing down and give three to five thrusts inwards and upwards.

If none of these work, start giving your dog CPR while somebody else rushes you to your vet or the animal hospital.

Filed under: Dog Care

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