Doggy Blues: Getting Help for Dog Depression and Other IssuesDoggy Blues: Getting Help for Dog Depression and Other Issues

About Me

Doggy Blues: Getting Help for Dog Depression and Other Issues

Welcome to my blog. My name is Ashley, and I love my dog Shelly more than anything in the world. I have had her for years, and I have helped her through a range of illnesses and emotional issues. After her brother, Yeats, died, Shelly became rather despondent. I didn't call the vet right away because I didn't realize the vet could help, but after a while, Shelly's mood didn't improve. I just didn't know what to do, so I called the vet. She was amazing. She explained that Shelly had depression, and she prescribed meds for it. Now Shelly and I are happier than ever, and to help others, I decided to start this blog about doggy emotional and physical health. I hope you enjoy it.

Choking - Emergency First Aid Tips For Puppy Owners

Puppies are notoriously playful and curious.  They're into everything, and this can lead to incidents of choking.  Choking is frightening for puppies and distressing for owners, and if left untreated, it can be fatal.  If you think your puppy is choking, you should call your emergency vet immediately.  In the meantime, here are some expert first aid tips that you can carry out yourself.  

Symptoms of choking

Choking happens when the puppy's airway is obstructed and it cannot breathe properly.  The following signs could indicate that your puppy is choking:

  • distress and agitation
  • pawing at the face
  • retching
  • frothing and drooling at the mouth
  • coughing and breathing difficulties
  • blue mucous membranes in the mouth
  • collapse

Choking in puppies is commonly caused by a foreign object, such as fragments of stick or bone or a toy, becoming lodged in the animal's throat.

Emergency first aid

The importance of emergency veterinary attention in cases of choking cannot be overstressed.  If possible, you should carry out first aid en route to the vet while someone else drives.

  1. The first thing to do is try to remove the obstruction to the puppy's airway.  Your puppy will probably be panicky and frightened, so you'll need to firmly and gently restrain him.  To do this, wrap your arms around your pup and hold him against your chest to keep him still and reassure him.  
  2. Open the puppy's mouth and pull out his tongue.  This is easier to do if you wrap the tongue in a clean cloth to stop it from slipping through your fingers.  Sometimes the action of pulling out the tongue can actually dislodge the obstruction.  
  3. If you see a piece of stick or bone stuck in the mouth, you might be able to get it out with a large set of tweezers.  If the object breaks in half during this process, it can sometimes just fall out.  
  4. Objects such as rubber or rawhide balls that have become wedged in the windpipe can be extremely difficult to shift.  Never try to tackle such objects by pushing or trying to get your fingers around them, as this can just wedge the object even more firmly.  Instead, try putting your thumbs underneath the puppy's jaw and pushing the object forwards towards the mouth.  Sometimes this can be all it needs to just pop the object free.  
  5. If you can't see the object, do not be tempted to put your fingers down the puppy's throat; you could damage the tissues and cause swelling, which would make his predicament even worse.  
  6. If your puppy cannot breathe, you could try a version of the human first aid Heimlich manoeuvre, although this should only be done if you can't get your puppy to a vet quickly.  To do this, hold the puppy with his back against your stomach and his head up.  Feel underneath his ribs and place a closed fist into the soft hollow that you will find there.  Pull your fist up towards you a couple of times in a sharp, thrusting motion. This movement causes air under the puppy's diaphragm to be expelled in a powerful 'huff', which is often sufficient to dislodge any obstruction in the throat.  
  7. It's important that you keep your puppy cool during his ride to the emergency vet, so make sure you have the air-conditioning cranked up to full during the journey.

In conclusion

If you suspect that your puppy is choking, always call your emergency vet straight away.  En route to the vet's, you can help your pet by following the above first aid guidelines.