Doing Animal CPR

October 18, 2012Comments Off on Doing Animal CPR

If you would ask a passerby what comes to their mind when they hear the letters, “CPR”, they would probably tell you that it conjures images of a man lying down unconscious and another doing chest compressions on the former. In truth, however, CPR is not something that can only be done on human. In a number of instances, it has also proven to be of great help in saving the lives of animals.

If you would recall, just last September,Mei Xang, a female giant panda successfully gave birth to a cub. Unfortunately, for no apparent reason, the said cub died more than a week after. The death, however, was not one where the staff did not do anything. In fact, upon hearing a sound from the mother bear that sounded like a call for help, the staff immediately checked on the mother and daughter. Upon seeing the condition of the cub, CPR was administered in order to save the cub’s life.

So how was the CPR done?

It may come as a surprise but CPR for animals is done similarly to that in humans. However, this is not done to any kind of animal. The CPR procedure being done for human victims can only be applied to animals that have a similarly shaped body. This is because the shape that we have makes it possible to directly compress the heart causing artificial blood circulation. A modified form of this can also be done in dogs and cats where indirect chest compression applied from the sides is more appropriate. The number of compressions that need to be done stays the same for dogs or for animals with the same body shape as humans. This is even though dogs tend to have a higher resting heart rate compared to humans. If you would be doing chest compressions in animals and do not know how to set the pace, your best move would be to time it with the beat in the song, “Staying Alive”. By doing so, the heart gets refilled with blood.

CPR for animals, especially dogs and cats, would also require the administration of artificial respiration. However, if you would need to do this on your pet, you have to make sure that you close the mouth and breathe through the nose. Breath should be given until the side of the chest rises. If there is no change in the chest cavity, squeeze the abdominal part in order to dislodge any material blocking the airway. You can also physically check if there is any obstruction on the airway. You need to repeat the chest compressions, checking of the airway , and the administration of artificial respiration until the animal concerned regains consciousness. Make sure that while you are doing this, someone is either calling a medical professional or driving you to a veterinary clinic.

Whether you are doing animal CPR or CPR on human, it is still to your best interest if you would familiarize yourself with how the said life-saving process is done. You can do this by undertaking the CPR training and certification being offered by Citywide CPR.