Pet CPR + First Aid Certification Manual: Choking


Pet First Aid: Choking

Just like in humans, when pets choke it is because a foreign object is in the airway. The first step is to open the mouth, pull the tongue forward and perform a finger sweep, if an object is viewable and removable. Please note, there is a high risk of being bitten with the maneuver. 

The second step is to perform 5 abdominal thrusts upward and inward (think Heimlich maneuver for pets). The hand formation for this should be a fist (thumb into the abdomen) with a hand wrapped over it around the pet. If the object is still not removed, you may hang the pet's head downward and strike 5 times with an open palm between the shoulder blades.

Continue the thrusts and/or back blows while en route to the veterinarian until either the object is dislodged, or your pet loses his/her pulse. If that happens, start CPR.

First Aid Steps:

1. Ensure scene safety

2. Get PPE

3. Perform the Heimlich maneuver as described above while en route to the veterinarian 

4. Proceed with back blows if necessary

5. Proceed with CPR if necessary