How can I help if my dog is choking? Is the Heimlich maneuver possible?
If my dog is choking on something and is unable to dislodge it himself, how can I help?
It is possible to perform the Heimich maneuver in dogs and there are a couple of techniques described in the literature. One technique suggests you put your hands under the center of their ribcage and push inwards and towards their head so you expel air from their lungs. Hopefully the air then dislodges whatever is blocking their airway. You can do this with your dog lying on their side on a hard surface, with their hindquarters higher than the front part of their body. With small dogs, put one hand on their back and the other on the center of their ribcage and push with a thrusting motion four or five times. For larger dogs, you’ll probably need both hands to make an effective thrust. If your dog doesn’t want to lie down, then you can still do the maneuver while they’re standing. Again, push inwards and forwards from the base of their ribcage.
Another technique suggests you push on the abdomen, half way between their umbilicus (or belly button) and the end of their ribcage. It’s just a different location but the technique is the same – push inwards and forwards.
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