Choking in Dogs

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If you cannot easily remove the object, lift and suspend a small animal with the head pointed down. For larger animals, lift the rear legs so the head is tilted down. This can help dislodge an item stuck in the throat.

Another method is to administer a sharp hit with the palm of your hand between the shoulder blades. This can sometimes dislodge an object.

If this does not work, a modified Heimlich maneuver can be attempted. Grasp the animal around the waist so that the rear is nearest to you, similar to a bear hug. Place a fist just behind the ribs. Compress the abdomen several times (usually 3 to 5 times) with quick pushes. Check the mouth to see if the foreign object has been removed.

Even if you are successful in removing a foreign object, veterinary examination is recommended. Internal injury could have occurred that you may not realize.

 

Preventative Care from Choking in Dogs

Make sure your dog has a collar that fits properly. Tight collars can create serious injury. Quick release collars can prevent your dog from choking if he or she gets caught on something.

Do not let your pet have sufficient slack in a tie out to allow jumping over fences.

Keep all small items, toys and balls away from your dog. Super balls and racquetballs are a common cause of upper airway obstruction in large breed dogs. Make sure the ball you use to play fetch is large enough to prevent getting stuck in the throat.

Feed treats of a size appropriate to your dog. Treats that are too large or too small can cause choking problems.

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