Puppies CPR and CPR on dogs combines rescue breathing with external heart compressions, and stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The compressions help the blood move through the body even though the heart has stopped. To perform CPR on your puppy, alternate rescue breathing with chest compressions, giving one breath for every five compressions for any size puppy. It’s most effective to have one person handle the breathing while a second person performs the compressions. Continue CPR until you reach the veterinary clinic or your pet revives, whichever comes first.
Determine your puppy’s heart has stopped by listening with your ear flat to her side directly behind the left elbow, or feel the place with the flat of your hand. If you still can’t tell for sure, use the blink test. Tap her closed eyelid. Even unconscious pups will blink unless the heart has stopped, so if there’s no movement, start CPR immediately.
How To Give CPR—For Pups Under 20 Pounds
The size of the puppy and his body conformation rules how you administer CPR. For puppies under 20 pounds, perform the cardiac pump technique with compressions over the heart. That squeezes the motionless heart so that it pumps blood. Veterinarians recommend 80 to 100 compressions each minute, a little bit more than one a second. That’s tough to do without training so aim for at least 60 to 100 per minute.
- Find the heart by flexing your pup’s front left foreleg backwards. The center of the heart falls directly beneath where the point of the elbow crosses her chest.
- Situate your puppy on her right side on a flat, firm surface. Cup your hand over the heart, and squeeze firmly. Press in about ½ inch with your thumb on one side and fingers on the other.
- For very small puppies that fit in the palm of your hand, perform compressions between your fingers. Cradle her in the palm of your hand, with your thumb over the heart and fingers on the other side, and squeeze rhythmically.
How To Give CPR—For Pups Over 20 Pounds
Once the pup weighs more than 20 pounds, the space between the strong ribs and heart interfere with successful compressions. So instead, pups this size best benefit from the thoracic pump method. When she’s on her side, place your hands over the highest part of the chest and compress. That changes the chest cavity interior pressure which can move blood forward. Place one hand flat on her chest, and the other over top of the first hand, and press down 20 to 50 percent.
Barrel chested puppies like Bulldogs should be placed on their back before compressing the chest. Cross her paws over the breast, and kneel with her between your legs—tummy up. Hold her paws and perform compressions downward directly over the breastbone.
Even trained veterinarians have difficulty resuscitating puppies when the heart has stopped. But when her life is in the balance, pet owners should be prepared to try everything. Heart compressions and rescue breathing often can keep your puppy alive long enough to get to the veterinarian. And if you’ve tried chest compressions without success, you can also try one more first aid emergency treatment using acupuncture.
Veterinarians use a drug called epinephrine to jump-start a heart that’s stopped. When you’re too far away from the emergency clinic, you can stimulate your puppy’s body to release the natural equivalent—called adrenaline—by stimulating a very specific acupuncture point. This technique has successfully been used to re-start the heart, stimulate stopped breathing, and save lives. Still-borne puppies that have seemed dead for over an hour have been successfully revived using acupuncture resuscitation.
The stimulation point is beneath the puppy’s nose in that slit above her upper lip. Acupuncture should only be used after CPR fails. Use a clean needle or pin and insert into the center of the slit in his upper lip. Poke it in down to the bone, and wiggle it back and forth. Continue until you reach the veterinarian or he revives.