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What we are going to look at now is dog choking. Now, if your dog is out eating, mucking around, or maybe is catching balls, or having any toys that are possibly dangerous to it, there is every possibility he could get a blockage in his airway. When your dog starts to choke, and you see it is in respiratory arrest, sometimes it is good just to leave the dog and to see if it will clear itself. It is quite easy with dogs, they sometimes can cough, and they can move their body about, and they can expel the object very well. If the object has not been expelled, then you are going to need to take action. You may well have heard of the Heimlich Manoeuvre or the abdominal thrust. Well, we have a doggie version of this as well. 

Now, if you have got a large dog and a small dog, the treatment you will do is slightly different. The first thing you are going to need to do is to make sure the dog is genuinely choking. What you can do then is inspect the mouth, open the mouth. If you can, pull the tongue forward bearing in mind that dogs can be very distressed. Maybe inspect the mouth, see if there is something you can take out, or maybe just shake the head gently so that the obstruction falls out. If you have not cleared it then you need to take action. Now, the idea of this is to force trapped air in the stomach against the lungs, forcing air out through the mouth.

Now, what we are doing here, obviously not doing this on a real dog, because this is very dangerous if you do it on a dog who is not genuinely choking. What we are doing here is on a toy. Now, if you had a smaller dog, and it is probably the best way of demonstrating this, you are going to hold the smaller dog close to you. Now, a large dog like this, obviously you would not do this, but it is a good way of demonstrating. Hold the dog close, take your thumb aside of your fist and bring in, just below the sternum, where the rib cage finishes, onto the stomach. And when you have got your hands on here, you can just give a sharp inward and upward blow, so it is literally pulling it in, like this. Each time you do one of the thrusts, see if the obstruction has been cleared. You might need to turn the dog over at this stage. You do up to five of these thrusts, hopefully, then you have cleared the obstruction. Because you are applying quite a lot of force here, then hopefully that is going to push onto the lungs and force the obstruction out. Now, if you have got an older dog, oh sorry, a larger dog, then you cannot physically pick them up. What you would do here, is obviously for ease here, we have got it up high, so you can see, but we do the same.

You get behind the dog, thumb side of the fist, just feel where the ribs finished, the fist in, and then you can pull inwards and upwards with the dog in a standing position. If the dog has collapsed, you can do a similar action. If the dog is laying down for any reason, again, you can put your arms in and have the same action. Every time that you do these thrusts, keep a lookout for the mouth to see if the obstruction has actually come out. Keep looking at the colour of the tongue and the lips inside. You will see whether there are any problems with respiration. If it starts looking very blue, then the dog is getting oxygen-starved. Now, if you have got a cat who is choking, again, very similar. Cats are very good at regurgitating out with their hairballs, things like this. But even so, if you do have a cat and it is choking, you can do it very similar, same with a small dog. Hold it close to you. Remember, when we are pushing down onto the stomach here, we are potentially causing serious injury. If you ever have to do this to a dog, you must take it to the vet without delay. It may well be you have done internal damage here and caused a small bleed. The dog is slowly going to go into shock and could die, so get them to your vet as quickly as possible.