If you find that an object is stuck in your furry friend’s mouth or throat, they may be choking. It’s a scary situation, but there are steps you can take to help your pet. Our team at Katten TrimSalon wants to share some advice on how to assist a choking pet.
Signs Your Pet is Choking
When a cat or dog is choking, they may display a combination of the following signs:
- Retching or gagging
- Pawing at the mouth
- Blue mucous membranes (cyanosis)
- Rubbing their face against the ground
If your cat or dog shows any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to follow the steps outlined below and bring your pet to our salon immediately for emergency care. Our team of expert veterinarians is available during late nights, weekends, holidays, or any time you are unable to reach your primary veterinarian. We have the necessary training in emergency medicine and triage to provide the care your pet needs.
What to Do if Your Pet is Choking
If Possible, Remove the Object
When dealing with choking cats and dogs, it’s important to prioritize your safety and that of your pet. If there’s a cord, string, or any other item wrapped around your pet’s neck, carefully use a pair of scissors to remove it.
In cases where an object is lodged in your pet’s mouth or throat, open their mouth and try to locate the object. If you can see it, attempt to swipe it away with your finger.
Avoid trying to poke your finger down your pet’s throat to find the object if it’s not visible. This action may cause injury. If you’re unable to dislodge the object by swiping it away, do not push or poke it further into the throat.
Heimlich Maneuver for Cats & Dogs
If you’re unable to remove the object causing your pet to choke, you’ll need to perform the Heimlich Maneuver:
- Lay your pet on their side.
- Hold your pet’s back against your stomach (paws down, head up).
- Using one hand, locate the soft hollow under the ribs (your closed fist should fit this spot).
- Use the hand on your pet’s stomach to pull up and in 2 to 3 times toward your own stomach, using a sharp thrusting motion.
- Check the mouth to see if the object has been dislodged.
If the Heimlich Maneuver doesn’t work and you notice that your cat no longer has a pulse, start CPR by performing about 120 chest compressions per minute. Continue until you arrive at our salon for further treatment.
What to Do After the Choking Has Stopped
Even if you successfully remove the object causing your cat or dog to choke, it’s a good idea to bring them to our salon for a thorough check-up. Our veterinarians will ensure that the choking incident didn’t cause any internal damage that may not be immediately visible.
Preventing Future Choking
To reduce the risk of your pet choking in the future, it’s important to be mindful of potential hazards. Check their food to ensure it’s appropriate for their size, as pet food is typically formulated with their needs in mind. However, it’s always wise to supervise your pet while they eat.
When your dog or cat plays with toys, make sure they don’t have any small parts that could break off and become potential choking hazards.
Remember, the advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you need an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
To learn more about Katten TrimSalon, visit our website. We’re here to help keep your pets safe and healthy!