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Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE LSU student Taylor Saucie performs CPR on a dog dummy as part of a training session on how to give CPR to cats and dogs. Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE LSU student Courtney Aydell practices compressions CPR for animals exists, and LSU vet school wants emergency responders to learn it

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Life saving techniques can save us later frustration of losing a precious pet.

As lifesaving techniques go, CPR is so mainstream that many outside the medical and emergency response world have used it or been trained to do so. It seems especially appropriate, since the first modern CPR occurred on a dog, said Dr. Alan Ralph. “It really wasn’t until one day in the lab that one of the research dogs was anesthetized and there was an unplanned cardiac arrest,” Ralph said.

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“It really wasn’t until one day in the lab that one of the research dogs was anesthetized and there was an unplanned cardiac arrest,” Ralph said. “They wanted to save the dog, and he told them to start compressing the chest.” The dog recovered, and the concept of combining compressions with mouth-to-mouth breathing was born. Ralph said he knew of an 18-year-old terrier named Oliver that was discovered by his family after falling into a swimming pool. Oliver’s owner was a firefighter, and the family administered CPR for 40 minutes until Oliver resumed breathing, then they took him to the veterinarian, where he recovered.

To determine if the dog’s heart is beating, feel the middle of the chest or the inner thigh near the groin, Ralph said. If there is no pulse, the dog should be laid on its side, and begin compressions mid-chest at about two beats per second, or 100 to 120 beats per minutes. Breaths should be administered by closing the dog’s mouth and breathing into the snout about every 15 seconds. The principle is the same as human CPR ­— keeping blood and the oxygen it carries moving to the brain in hopes that the patient’s heartbeat and breathing will resume.

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Slow and effective actions can continue blood flow through the heart and oxygen for the brain, increasing chances of a recovery.

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