Heimlich Maneuver

Recently my German Shepherd Dog, Brita, "inhaled" her food and I had to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on her as she obviously was in distress. Normally, I would have put water on her kibble which is excellent, high quality food. (Flint River Ranch) This particular day I was in a hurry and just gave her the food in a bowl. After feeding my other dogs, I went to her and it was apparent that she couldn't breath and was choking. I grabbed her (a 55 pound dog) and without thinking performed the Heimlich Maneuver. After she was breathing normally, I realized that I had just, most likely, saved her life. I then did a online search and found the video below and while it addresses small dogs and cats, it is what I did for Brita and I decided to share it with as many dog owners as I could to make them aware of what can be done if they find themselves in the same position that I found myself in with my dog.

Be patient with the commercial if you see one.... that's why it's free.... sort of like... uummm television.. :):)

Video Transcript

How to Perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a Cat or Small Dog

Let's talk about the Heimlich maneuver in dogs and cats. The Heimlich maneuver we think about in people all the time, getting choked on a piece of food at a restaurant and something like that. In veterinary medicine it is not something that we use routinely, however, it does come to play in the home setting on rare occasions. Dogs and cats can get choked on items, can get choked on pieces of food and things like that. The first thing you need to do is recognize are they actually choking on something or are they trying to gag or vomit. The way you know is typically if an animal is choking on something they are going to be opening their mouths, they're going to be retching over, they're going to be pawing at their face. So it is very difficult and you can get injured if you look in the mouth but that is the first thing to do is if you can look in there, look at the tongue and gum color and make sure it is nice and pink and not blue. If we do think that there is absolutely a choking mechanism happening that there is something lodged in the back of the throat then we might pull out the Heimlich maneuver and the way you do that is basically is take your hands and ball them up and or one method is to ball one fist up with your palm over the other one, right below, or actually right in the upper abdomen and below the sternum and then use a quick just kind of gentle but firm upper motion to try to dislodge that. The next recommendation is to get your animal to a veterinary clinic as quickly as possible. It may not always be a choking situation or it may be something that you can't do on your own.

"Let the Trainer examine himself when the dog makes a mistake or does not understand the exercise.... or fails in obedience and let him ask,

Where am I at fault?"

Max von Stephanitz "The German Shepherd Dog in Work and Picture" ....1923

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