Posted Jul 19, 2019
The forecast predicts extreme high temperatures for the rest of the weekend. West Loop Veterinary Care, a returning sponsor at GCM West Loop, has some summer heat reminders.
Here are a few tips to keep pets safe:
- If you are hot, your dog is hot
- Limit their time outdoors
- Be especially careful of hot asphalt and sand, which can burn their paw pads
- Walk dogs early and late
- Don’t over exercise them
- Make sure pets have access to shade and always have plenty of fresh, clean drinking water
Tomorrow West Loop Veterinary Care Dr. David Gonsky, founder and chief veterinary officer of West Loop Veterinary Care, will be at Green City Market West Loop from 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. to discuss how to keep pets safe and demonstrate CPR for pets. Because of the high temperatures, we encourage pet parents to leave their pets at home for the demonstration.
What might cause a pet to need CPR?
Just like with people, CPR can mean the difference between life and death. CPR should be administered to pets only when they have stopped breathing and there is no heartbeat. Pets may stop breathing do to a variety of reasons, including:
- Choking because the pet has an obstruction in the airway
- Trauma such as being hit by a car
- Water- near drowning
- Allergic reaction
Illness can also be a cause, although that would probably make it more difficult for CPR to be successful.
How do you know if your pet needs CPR?
Before administering CPR to a pet, a pet owner should make certain that the pet actually needs this help. Pet owners should:
- Check for a heartbeat or pulse.
- Check to see if the pet is breathing
If your pet is not breathing and there is no heartbeat, CPR can be performed. It’s very important to only perform CPR if the pet has stopped breathing and there is no heartbeat.
How do you perform CPR for pets?
Administering CPR for pets is not all that different than administering CPR on a human.
- First lay the dog on its side
- Make certain there is not an obstruction in its mouth or throat. Sometimes a ball, toy or other item can become lodged and prevent an animal from breathing.
- If there is an obstruction, remove it immediately
- If there is no obstruction, extend the neck and begin artificial respiration
- If the animal does not begin to breath, begin cardiac compressions
- Find the area near the heart –
Pull front leg back and where the elbow hits is approximately where you want to compress
Another way to determine where to compress is to compress at the widest part of the chest
- You can do this to the beat of the song, “Stayin Alive”
- Do about 30 compressions then give the animal two breaths
- If this works, the animal will immediately begin moving
- If the animal is still not breathing and the heartbeat is not restored, repeat the process Ideally, someone is performing CPR while another person is driving to the closest veterinary hospital
Could I hurt my pet by doing this?
First, you don’t want to do this if the animal is breathing or if their heart is beating. If it’s not breathing and the heart is not beating, then this is the best thing you can do to try to revive your pet in that moment.
Even if you break a rib or cause some other injury, those can always be fixed. You are not likely to cause permanent harm by trying to save a pet’s life with CPR.
Is there anything else pet owners should do?
Yes, they should call their veterinarian or a veterinary emergency center as quickly as possible. They will assist you with next steps and help guide you as to how to get your pet safely to the vet.
What else do you want pet owners to know?
Prevention is key
- Keep your pets on a leash to prevent them from being hit by a car.
- If you are playing fetch, don’t use a tennis ball. Use a ball with holes in it or with a rope attached.
- If you are taking your dog to swim in water, use a life preserver if you are not sure whether they can swim or if they don’t have easy access to exit the water.
This blog post is sponsored by West Loop Veterinary Care. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities with Green City Market, please contact Director of Development, Mandy Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org.