Tails of Seattle: A pets blog
Trainer Q&A: Pet first aid, Part 3 -- CPR
Trainer Stormi King Parish, who teaches at University Canine Learning Academy in Seattle, answers the third in a series of questions about pet first aid. Above, she demonstrates how to perform CPR on a dog. Read Part 1: Trainer Q&A: What pet owners need to know about first aid and Part 2: Trainer Q&A: Pet safety -- Hiking and camping with your dog.
Question: Does dog CPR essentially work like CPR on humans?
Answer: Kind of. CPR for both pets and humans involves a series of chest compressions and rescue breathing.
The technique used on dogs is different simply because of the differences in our anatomy.
In performing CPR on a human, you want them lying on their back with their head extended back to open the airways. With dogs and cats, the breathing and chest compressions are actually performed with the animal lying on their side, with the person performing CPR over top of the animal and positioned in such a way to prevent the animal from moving too quickly should they be startled if or when they regain consciousness.
Rescue breathing, shown right, is done through the snout.
Question: What special training is involved?
Answer: Both Pet Tech and the Red Cross offer courses in pet first-aid training. They are each one-day courses that take you through both lecture and hands-on exercises to learn how to properly administer first aid and CPR.
Without proper training, attempting CPR cannot only injure the animal, but put you in harm's way.
Question: Under what circumstance is CPR needed?
Answer: The general rule of thumb is if the animal has a pulse and is breathing, it's a first-aid situation. If the animal has a pulse, but is not breathing, it's a rescue breathing situation. If the animal does not have a pulse and is not breathing, it's a CPR situation.
Stormi King Parish
Stormi King Parish holds a Certificate in Canine Studies and is an alumna of the Companion Animal Science Institute. She is certified in pet CPR and first aid, and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals. She teaches group training classes at University Canine Learning Academy, as well as works privately with owners. She specializes in working with deaf dogs and presents seminars and workshops teaching owners how to train their hearing-impaired dogs. She lives in Seattle with her 7-year-old deaf dog Jack, who proudly holds a first-place obedience title and dabbles in canine freestyle and skateboarding, and three cats.