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Monitor breathing carefully. Check breathing by looking, listening, and feeling for breathing for up to ten seconds. If there are no signs of breathing, you can give chest compressions to force air out of the lungs and draw fresh air in. You can also pull the tongue out, close the mouth, and blow up the nose, this is called "mouth to nose ventilation".

Choking can be a serious problem, but often it looks worse than it is. Animals are very good at clearing an obstruction themselves, so give them time and space to try to clear the obstruction. Do not push your fingers down the throat of an animal, as you may push the item down or get bitten. If the animal becomes unresponsive, chest compressions can help to clear an obstruction. Prevention is best, so make sure food is safe to eat and stored out of reach.

If an animal is having breathing problems due to poison, you need to be very careful not to get the poison on you.