RAPID CITY, S.D. — Whether at the dog park or at home, emergencies can strike our four-legged friends at any time, and immediate help can make all the difference.
On Sunday at Happy Tails Dog Training Center, residents gathered for a class on how to apply pet CPR and first aid.
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, one out of every four more pets would survive an emergency situation with proper application of even just one first-aid technique. And for the first time in Rapid City, residents were able to learn about giving life-saving attention to animal companions.
“We’re going to be doing general wound care, first aid, taking vital signs so you can tell when a dog or animal is in distress, that type of stuff, talk about things we can do. But really we’re focusing on the CPR techniques,” Instructor Heather Schuller said.
Before administering CPR, Schuller recommends the “ABC” method: checking an animal’s airways, breathing, and pulse
In dogs, there are three main chest shapes that come into play.
The average is an egg-like shape similar to Labradors, the keel shape is a deep and narrow curve seen in breeds such as Greyhounds and lastly the barrel shape is characterized by rounded chests usually found in breeds like Bulldogs.
For average chested dogs, compressions are done on the left side at the highest point of the chest, right above the elbow.
A keel-shaped chest do not have as much fat, which requires compressions done next to their left elbow, near the heart. For stockier breeds with the barrel chest like Pit Bulls and Bulldogs, you’re going to want to lay the dog on its back and start giving compressions in the center of their chest
For cats and smaller dogs, including kittens and puppies, wrap your hands around their body and begin compressions with your thumbs next to their left elbow.
100 to 120 beats per minute is the recommended rhythm, like in humans. However, the number for compressions is different.
“Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation compressions are 30 compressions to two breaths,” Schuller said. “And breaths are mouth to snout. Where it’s not in the mouth, we use the nostrils to get air to them that way.”
Knowing how to perform CPR on an animal can be critical in the race to getting them to a medical professional. And while owners most certainly would prefer to never to see a medical emergency, having that skillset can be the difference between life and death.
To find out more about taking the class and getting certified, contact Heather Schuller at email@example.com or by phone at (605) 430-6646.