You can save your puppy’s life by knowing how to do dog CPR and how to perform rescue breathing. Accidents happen. Pets lose contests with cars, drown in hot tubs, choke on unsafe toys, strangle from collars, suffocate in plastic, fall from balconies, and chew electric cords. Treatable injuries become medical emergencies when the pet’s heartbeat or breathing stops.
Pets suffer brain injury and death if oxygen is cut off for only a few minutes. You won’t have time to drive to the veterinarian if your pet stops breathing. When minutes count, rescue breathing can save your pet’s life.
How To Perform Rescue Breathing
- First check to be sure nothing blocks the puppy’s airway before you begin. Cradle small pets in your lap, but lay a large dog on the floor on his side. Straighten his neck by lifting his chin. The airway must be a straight shot into the lungs to ensure your breath is not blocked.
- Dog muzzles won’t seal well enough for mouth-to-mouth breathing to work. Instead, hold your puppy’s mouth closed with one or both hands to seal his lips. Then place your mouth entirely over his nose. Your mouth will cover both the mouth and nose of most puppies.
- Blow two quick breaths just hard enough to move his sides, and watch to see if his chest expands. Blowing into his nose directs air to the lungs when the lips are properly sealed. For small pets, think of blowing up a paper bag—gently does it!—or you could over-inflate and damage the lungs. However, you’ll need to blow pretty hard to expand the lungs of larger dogs.
- Between breaths, pull your mouth away to let the air naturally escape before giving another breath. Continue rescue breathing at a rate of 15 to 20 breaths per minute until he starts breathing on his own, or you reach the veterinary clinic.
Needling For Life
When the pet’s breathing and heart has stopped and resuscitation methods have failed, veterinarians suggest stimulating an acupuncture “alarm point.” That prompts the body to release natural adrenaline (epinephrine), a drug commonly used in human and veterinary medicine in cardiac arrests to stimulate the heart and breathing.
The alarm point is in the center (midway point) of the slit found between your puppy’s nose and upper lip. Stick a needle, safety pin, paperclip, or even your clean fingernail into this point. Jab deeply to the bone, and repeatedly wiggle back and forth.
Don’t be squeamish—this is your puppy’s life you hold in your hands! Continue administering the emergency acupuncture treatment for at least twenty minutes, until the pet revives or you reach the hospital.
Puppies and kittens dead at birth treated with this method have been revived more than an hour later, and survived to live long, healthy lives. A needle jab, with rescue breathing, can ensure your puppy survives.