How to Give CPR to a Pet

Today's tip was suggested by volunteer Kathleen Summers, who reminds us that CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can save the lives of both people and pets. The following tips come from a brochure from Waltham Pet Products. These tips are not a substitute for emergency veterinary care; while one person starts CPR, another should be preparing to drive the animal to the nearest animal emergency clinic.

* Lay the animal on her side and remove any obstructions in the airway (open her mouth, pull tongue forward, extend neck, and sweep mouth with finger.

* If airway is clear, extend neck, hold tongue out of mouth, and close pet's jaws over tongue.

* Holding the jaws closed, breathe into both nostrils for 5 to 6 breaths. If no response, continue artificial respiration (see below). If there is also no pulse, begin cardiac compressions.

* Depress the widest part of chest wall, 1-1/2 to 3 inches with one or two hands.
For dogs over 60 lbs. -- 60 times per minute.
Animals 11-60 lbs. -- 80-100 times per minute.
Animals 5 to 10 lbs. -- 120-140 times per minute.
For very small animals (1 to 5 lbs.), place hands around rib cage and apply cardiac massage.

* Continue artificial respiration.
For Dogs over 60 lbs., give 12 breaths a minute.
For animals 11 to 60 lbs., give 16-20 breaths per minute.
For animals under 10 lbs., use 30 or more breaths per minute.

For a copy of "First Aid, A Summary of First Aid Tips for Pet Owners," call Waltham USA, 1-800-528-1838, or visit