CPR can save a pets’s life

I f you have confirmed that your pet has no heartbeat and is non-responsive, or the normal pattern of breathing has stopped and gums have turned ashen grey blue, have someone call your veterinarian or the local emergency veterinary hospital for guidance while you begin rescue efforts. In death, if you gently touch the surface of the eyeball where it is clear, there is no blink reflex
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, can be used to treat an animal that has stopped breathing and has no heartbeat. It is not useful for collapse/unresponsiveness from other causes, such as a low sugar coma or fainting. Basic life support is the appropriate response to cardiopulmonary arrest. Basic resuscitation can be broken down into three steps, which are called the ABC’s of CPR; Airway, Breathing and Circulation.
A
Basic CPR step one is to confirm that the airway is open. How? The first step is to open the mouth, pull out the tongue and examine the throat. Do not do this if there is agonal breathing since the mouth can clamp closed with great force, causing injury to your fingers. Agonal breathing is a slow deep gasping effort that can happen at the time of passing on and for a few minutes after. In long-nosed breeds of dogs, a small flashlight may be needed to visualize the throat area. Use your finger to check for and remove any foreign material from the mouth.
B
Breathing for the pet involves mouth-tonose (snout) resuscitation. How? To protect fingers in case the pet starts to arouse during the examination, make sure the fingers are never placed in the path of the large teeth at all times. If the animal is becoming conscious, one must not put the fingers in the mouth at all because the pet may bite very hard due to reflex. For medium-sized to large-sized animals, holding the muzzle closed with your hands should seal the mouth, providing opportunity for mouth-to-nose resuscitation. For cats and very small dogs, your mouth will seal the pet’s whole snout when you perform CPR.
Placing your mouth over the animal’s nose and exhaling directly into the nostrils begins resuscitation. Do not overinflate the chest or lung damage may occur. After four to five quick breaths, the breathing should be checked again and if no spontaneous breathing begin formal resuscitation cycles of two minutes each. If no equipment is available, 30 chest compressions should alternate with two quick breaths and the people should rotate roles every two minutes to reduce fatigue for chest compressions. Check for return of breathing and pulse during the cycle changeover. If the animal does not start breathing after 15 minutes, it is not likely to revive
To check whether enough air is being provided (or too much), watch the movement of the chest wall as you provide air. The chest wall should move up and out as if a large normal deep breath is occurring. If the wall moves very high, you are overinflating the lungs, and a smaller, less vigorous breath should be used. If the chest wall does not move at all, it is quite possible that a blockage of the windpipe is present.
C
Cardiovascular (circulatory, heart and blood vessels). How? For small dogs, the pet should be lying on its right side. The palm of one hand should be placed over the ribs at the point where the elbow would touch the chest if he was lying down with back facing up, with forelegs tucked at side, while the other hand is placed beneath the right chest wall opposite it. Compression rate should be about 100- 120/minute, allowing time for the chest to spring back in between pressure application. If there are two people present, one person can perform the breathing, while the other compresses the chest then checks for a pulse in the femoral artery (running up the inside of the leg and felt ½ way down from the junction of leg and body wall to the knee joint).
For medium to large dogs, the hands must be cupped over each other on the top side behind the elbow on the chest wall where the elbow would naturally sit if the pet was lying down, with back facing up, with forelegs sitting normally, and the arms kept straight and elbows locked. The person needs to place their body squarely over their hands in order to get sufficient power to compress the chest properly. If there are two people present, one person can perform the breathing, while the other compresses then checks for a pulse every two minutes. A folded towel placed under the chest will help to keep the pet from shifting during the application of pressure.
Cats should be placed on their side, and one hand should be placed over the backbone near the shoulder blades, while the other hand is cupped around the underside of the chest where, if the cat was standing, just behind where the elbows would be. Flat fingers on the underside, and flat part of the thumb on topside are applied over this region of the heart.
gion of the heart. Pulses can be checked by placing a finger over the mid portion of the inside rear limb about half way between the body wall and the stifle, or knee joint half way between the back and front margins of the limb. The femoral artery lies within a minor trough in the muscles here. A veterinarian can teach you how to find pulses during a routine annual examination. It is best to practice getting the pulse on a healthy, awake pet before any time of crisis. Important: The chest should go down by about a third to half of the height as the animal lays on the side.
IMPORTANT TIPS
Lay the pet with the body angled so the head is lower than the heart, and hind end is higher than the heart using blankets or pillows, or coats, if they are handy. This keeps more blood in the brain. This should not be done if there is trauma especially to the head.
Do not attempt to drive and do CPR at the same time! Ideally enlist a friend or family member to assist with you promptly. At the veterinary clinic, they have important aids for resuscitation, such as adrenalin and other key drugs, oxygen, intravenous access, breathing bags and windpipe (tracheal) intubation to maximize effectiveness of CPR, so do not delay your trip to the clinic whatsoever.
Note that once a pet has passed away, resuscitation with even the very best equipment and trained personnel there is only a success rate of 9% reported as of 2012, and of those animals that recover, some will have permanent brain damage and may not be themselves afterward. However, this should not deter anyone from trying it in an emergency situation. To learn more about CPR, ask your veterinarian.
The greatest chance of success is when there is an observed passing and immediate CPR begins. Presence of agonal breathing (heavy irregular gasps) does not mean the pet is still alive. These can continue to occur for a few minutes after death but do indicate very recent death (or is currently dying).
If you see a return of heart beat and breathing, it is essential to still present the pet right away to the hospital for very important post-resuscitation support that must happen. It can happen that the animal re-arrests, so it is not over until quite a while has passed, with the animal remaining stable. Brain swelling and other complications of recovery require a hospitalized stay, so don’t delay
From the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association www.canadianveterinarians.net

TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN RESPONSIBLE ANIMAL OWNERSHIP

Failing to teach a child how to handle pets properly can result in suffering on the part of the pet and, in some cases, injury to the child. Many children, especially very young ones, don’t realize that pets are living animals, not toys.
To prevent children and animals from getting hurt, it’s wise to teach children how to properly handle pets. When introducing a pet in a household that has young children, parental supervision is very important. Supervision is necessary until parents can be certain that a child is able to handle and interact with the pet in a responsible and humane manner. Initial supervision also allows the parent to make sure that the pet is safe for the child. This is especially true with children under five years of age.
Children must be taught how to show affection toward pets. Most children tend to “pat” animals rather than “pet” them and this could prove to be too rough for some pets. They must be taught to be gentle and not to push, prod, poke or tease pets in any way. A child should be shown the proper way to stroke a pet, as well as the correct way to pick up a pet
Whenever possible, children should be involved in the care, feeding, grooming, and training of the pet. Involving the children in the daily care of the pet instills a sense of responsibility in the child. It also teaches the child that the pet is dependent on him or her for good health. Parents can put up a list of daily pet chores that the children can check off once they have completed the assigned chore. At the same time, parents must make sure that these chores are being completed, since failure to do so can result in suffering on the part of the pet. The family veterinarian can be of considerable help in these efforts by discussing the importance of health care, grooming and proper feeding with children.
Respect for a pet’s privacy must also be instilled. Pets should have a “private area” such as a crate or a specific corner of the house to allow them to get away from the kids from time to time. Children must be taught to respect this need for privacy and the existence of a private area.
Quick and sudden movements, loud noises and yelling might startle or frighten animals. Children must be taught that animals prefer to be handled in a gentle and quiet manner. Otherwise, pets may become frightened and reluctant to be approached or handled, or worse, they may bite.
Before touching an unfamiliar animal, children should be taught to ask first for permission from a parent. Not all animals are necessarily friendly and some may even perceive a child as a potential threat. In fact, animal bites most often involve children. In the case of dogs, children should be taught not to stare directly at a dog, as this may be perceived as a threat.
Pets have been shown time and again to be valuable tools in teaching children respect, empathy, responsibility and gentleness — traits which stand them in good stead throughout their lives. The bond between a child and a pet lasts a lifetime and enriches their lives as nothing else can.

Understanding Hairballs

When cats are not sleeping or eating, they are grooming! All that hair goes down into the digestive tract, and in the stomach, can ball up into a hairball. Usually they are long and tubular when you find them on the floor since they take that shape as they come back up the esophagus.

Some cats seem to form lots of hairballs, others bring them up rarely or never. Long haired, thick-coated cats, such as the Persian, are more likely to build them up due to the sheer volume of their hair they take in. If the cat hunts mice, the hair also can contribute to hairballs.

Usually the hairballs do not cause problems and passes through the digestive tract to be incorporated into the bowel movements. Sometimes if they get large, the cat may have trouble bringing them up or passing the hair down and stomach irritation can result. Very rarely, hairballs can become large and hard, and need surgical removal.

Daily grooming removes a lot of dead hair so that less is ingested by the cat during self-grooming. If the cat is sensitive to fleas or other external parasites, over grooming may occur and increase hair intake, so make sure these parasites are eliminated.

Keep the haircoat in good health by feeding high-quality food. Some manufacturers make a hairball preventive diet. Sometimes omega fatty acid supplements are used to increase haircoat quality and skin health. Hairball remedies, such as petrolatum-based pastes, can be given at home by mouth. These often have extra vitamins added. Avoid administering plain mineral oil — cats cannot taste it and can inhale it and get pneumonia. As well, avoid plain petroleum jelly or vegetable oil since it does not have extra vitamins added to make up for the tendency for the petroleum to interfere with fat-soluble vitamin absorption.

Though cats can safely pass hair through the digestive tract, if your cat is having any signs of ill health, including vomiting, lethargy, reduced appetite or hard, small or scant feces, contact your veterinarian. Vomiting hairballs once or twice a month is not cause for concern, but if more frequent, discuss this with your veterinarian.