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Choking Dog

BoxerWhat would you do if you thought your dog was choking on a treat and there was no time to get the dog to a vet?

It is most likely that your dog will start coughing, may not be able to stand and may appear to be struggling for breath.  The most important advice is to make sure your diagnosis is correct.  

Similar symptoms (even appearing fairly acute) can be caused by lung disease/ heart disease/ a stroke and other problems. So first advice, as ever, is to be sure of the diagnosis before taking any action.

Having said this, it is a well-known emergency procedure to dislodge a foreign body in a human’s throat and the treatment is similar for a dog.

If the dog is conscious raise the dog’s hind end and forcibly (but not so you break the ribs) compress the sternum (the midline front of the chest at the bottom of the ribcage).   In large dogs straddle them, compress the sternum whilst an assistant raises the hind end or lowers the head and neck.

If the dog is unconscious lie the dog on his right side, with the head down and compress the chest and abdomen.  If these techniques are not successful immediately and there is a partial blockage, you will need to rush your dog to a vet.

Oxygen therapy together with a tracheostomy (a tube into the windpipe below the foreign body) may be successful together with an endoscopy or surgery to remove a foreign body.

As a cause of death, blockage or collapse due to a foreign body, is very rare.

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