Playing and Roaming around is an important and essential part of a dog’s life but it is equally hard to monitor your dog all the time. In unfavourable circumstances, your dog can eat anything around while playing and get choked.
Choking is an action when an object gets stuck in the windpipe (trachea) instead of passing down into the oesophagus. This obstruction prevents the passing of air further and hence the air does not reach the dog’s lungs and makes him unconscious. Dogs are commonly observed playing with the balls and bones and other small objects and they can easily get him choked.
Common precautions are to let your dog go out only when you can attentively supervise him and make sure all small objects which can get him choked are out of his reach. Furthermore, get him toys which are slightly bigger than his mouth and cannot get into it or reach into his throat.
The common signs and symptoms that indicate your dog is choking are:
- Loud cough
- Rasping sounds during inhalation
- Stretching neck outwards
- Gagging or trying to vomit
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of appetite
Most dogs when choked lower their heads to get a gravity assist and try to propel the object out of their throat. Once you identify that your dog is choked, it is extremely important to get him relieved as soon as possible. Before taking any action, look carefully into your dog’s throat. Never reach in without looking as you could push the object farther back, tear tissue by pulling the object, or get bitten. Cover your dog’s canine teeth with your thumb and wrap the lips with the index finger by bringing your hand over the dog’s muzzle and using your other hand, press his thumb down and gently pull his tongue forward. By following this procedure, any object that is causing choking will be moved. Further, lower the dog’s jaw and look into his mouth so you can see the object that is causing choking and you can remove it safely. After clearing the throat to take a deep look and inspect the throat thoroughly making sure there is no damage or puncture.
However, if you are unable to clear the throat in this way, You can opt for abdominal compression. To give abdominal compression, hold your dog in front of you and push up on the choking dog’s diaphragm, creating a force to propel the object out of the throat. For a more comfortable and easy removal of the object, you can also press the shoulder blades and squeeze the dog or squeeze the air out of your choking dog’s lungs, creating a force to propel the object outward. The position to provide compression to your dog may vary depending upon your dog’s height, breed and size.
Once you get rid of this emergency situation, It is always a good idea to get your dog checked by a qualified vet just to make sure everything is fine and your dog doesn’t face any further medical issues.
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