The American Red Cross has been instructing people in CPR for pets for some time now and has classes that include all manner of first aid, including mouth-to-snout resuscitation. You read that correctly; mouth-to-snout.
Anyone who has been to a CPR class is familiar with the basics of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. First you’ll check to be sure the patient has a clear airway, then check to see if the patient is breathing, check whether the patient has a heartbeat and, if the patient awakens in the process of the method, be cautious that you don’t get bitten by the patient.
According to a March 2002 story from The Scoop, an online site that reports on canines in the news (you know the theory DOG BITES MAN is not news while MAN BITES DOG is), a dog in Walla Walla, Washington that was accidentally choked to death was saved by a quick-acting Nice Samaritan who was trained in mouth-to-snout.
The procedure is similar to traditional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation between humans, the chief difference being that the person performing the procedure will close the dog’s mouth and in lieu provide breaths in to the dog’s nose. The method sounds comic in theory, but it works and knowing how to perform mouth-to-snout resuscitation on your pet could literally save its life.
After being revived, the dog was treated at the Associated Veterinary Clinic and released.
In addition to the mouth-to-snout procedure, canines can have chest compressions performed in an emergency where the heart stops. Learning and knowing these techniques can save the life of a dog in distress and let him live to chase rabbits or play fetch another day.
The idea of pet CPR is gaining much notoriety and is beginning to be taught by organizations all over the country that formerly provided traditional CPR training and certification. If you’re interested in taking these classes yourself, contact your local Red Cross. The life you save may be your dogs.