It can happen that sometimes you are very calm next to your pet and suddenly it begins to cough with a little despair, like trying to expel something from its throat. Do you know how to act in these cases? Do you know the maneuvers that can save his life? In this article we will teach you what to do first, the steps to follow in this situation, and some more tips. Let’s get started! …
My dog coughs and gags
This situation makes us very nervous. And our dog is even more so, in front of something that bothers him a lot and he wants to get out of his throat. We do not know the origin until we check it. It can be an object pierced through his windpipe, a bone, or anything that out of curiosity has been put in his mouth.
This is why it is very important to be sure that our dog does not have access to certain elements. If we have children, we should ask them not to leave small toys or toys that can break near the house pet. Similarly, it should be avoided for him to access the trash can.
But since dogs are very curious, it can be anything that causes the obstruction. In this sense, they are like babies, and their way of knowing the world is by smelling and bringing to their mouths what catches their attention.
Now what we wouldn’t want to happen has happened. Our dog is stuck and tries to get it out with a lot of energy, but he can’t do it alone. In these steps we will indicate the most convenient actions to get out of this horrible trance.
Check if the object obstructing breathing is visible
We should not put our hand in our dog’s mouth right away. The first thing we should do is try to calm him down with words and caresses, as we assess the situation.
Our dog immediately captures our mood, so we have to try to instill serenity in him. If we are very nervous, he will get worse.
When we have a pan of the situation, we must decide if we are going to remove it by hand from the animal’s mouth. But keep in mind that it is only recommended to use this technique if the object is visible and everything indicates that it is feasible.
If we are not very sure, it is not convenient, for these reasons:
-If our dog is very nervous, he could bite us.
-If it is deep inside, we could send it even deeper.
-Our dog is having an obstruction in the air intake and with our hand we would further reduce its ability to breathe.
So, in the slightest doubt, it is preferable to move on to the next step, instead of risking what we just discussed happening.
Raise the back of your body
This maneuver can go a long way in helping your dog to expel its own thing. First of all, remove the collar so you don’t have an extra impediment to his breathing. Then, by firm maneuvers and without putting much pressure, we would have to raise their back legs to try to lower the object.
It is not necessary for our dog to remain upright. You should evaluate how far it is necessary, according to whether it has any improvement or not. In case you are accompanied by someone, ask them to call the vet to tell you if you are doing well, or to help you hold your dog.
If this doesn’t work after a few moments, let’s go to the next step.
Do the Heimlich maneuver
This maneuver is recommended for humans. But there is a variant when the one suffering from the obstruction is an animal.
In this case, what we should do is dry pressure on the part where the thorax ends, while lifting its back legs. We have to hug his waist, and one of our hands must form a fist, just on the abdomen. We must press quickly and dryly about 5 times, using both arms.
But this maneuver requires that we have practiced it before, to be able to do it without nerves the day we have to do it for real. If you are not sure how to practice it, it is not recommended, because you could achieve the opposite effect and make the object go even deeper.
If the dog has a lot of content in the stomach, it can cause vomiting. This would cause the air flow to be lower, and he would not be able to breathe.
Therefore, if you have not practiced this before, we do not recommend that you do so. Ask your vet to teach you how to do it and practice at home, so that when the day comes you will be able to do it effectively.
Give him a loud pat
Another option is to slap him on the part between the shoulder blades. The slap must be strong and firm, to try to eject the object. It can be alternated with the Heimlich maneuver and with CPR.
Take him to the vet
This could have been the first step. But we consider that the first moments are very critical, and here we must act quickly. We could lose the opportunity to save his life by missing those vital moments.
Whether we get him to expel the object or not, we have to go with him to the vet. This way you can control that you effectively removed everything that was stuck, and if he did not suffer injuries to his trachea. Many times the objects are locked because they are piercing the digestive tract and this keeps them holding.
The vet will be able to do an ultrasound where he will observe if there are remains and the condition of the trachea. In the event that we have not been able to help him completely remove it, he will do whatever he deems appropriate to achieve it.
In summary, when your dog is stuck, we recommend:
-Keep calm and try to bring calm to your dog while evaluating the situation.
-If it is feasible, try to extract the object from the mouth with your hand, but only if it is visible and if you are sure that you can do it without pushing it further inside.
-Raise his back legs to help him expel it on his own.
-Practice the Heimlich maneuver, so that by using firm and dry pressure you can help him remove the obstruction.
-Alternate this practice with a strong clap between the shoulder blades.