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Your Dog STOPS Breathing and Collapses - Learn What To Do

One of the most awful experiences for a Pet Parent  - your dog suddenly collapses, he stops breathing and has no heartbeat.

A dog that goes without breathing for longer than 3 to 5 minutes can suffer permanent brain damage.  After 10 minutes there is essentially no hope of survival.

What would you do if this happened to your dog? 

As promised, today I am sending you detailed instructions on how to quickly recognize this situation and take proper action.

Make sure the dog is in cardiopulmonary arrest (the cessation of breathing and heartbeat) before starting CPR - if he is not in arrest, you could be injured. Watch for the dog's chest to rise and fall to determine if he is breathing.  If there are no breaths for 10 seconds, stay calm and begin CPR.

The ABCs of CPR:

ē Airway - First, check your pet's mouth and throat to make sure the airway is open and clean. Lay the dog on his side, extend the head, open the mouth, pull out his tongue and check for obstructions. If you are uncertain, you may need to perform a finger sweep, running your index finger around the dog's mouth, along the cheek and across the back of the throat.

Try to dislodge whatever is blocking the airway by performing 5 to 10 abdominal thrusts (like the Heimlich maneuver).  If this works, your dog may regain consciousness, or you may still need to perform CPR.

Swelling could also be blocking the airway.  If this is the case, your dog needs to be treated by a veterinarian immediately.

ē Breathing - Once the airway is clear and the dog is still not breathing, begin artificial respirations.  Hold the mouth closed tightly and place your mouth around the dog's nose or nose and mouth (depending on the dog's size). Create a seal with your lips and/or hand.  Give two breaths, watching for the chest to rise and the lungs to expand.  (Be careful not to over inflate, especially in small dogs.) Wait for the air to be released before breathing again.  After giving two breaths, watch for the dog to start breathing on his own.  If not, continue artificial respirations. (For large dogs, administer 12 to 20 breaths per minute, and 20 to 25 breaths for small dogs.)

ē Circulation - While watching for breaths, feel your dog's chest near the left elbow to check for a heartbeat. If you did not feel a heartbeat, begin cardiac compressions. The process is a little different depending on the dog's size.

For small dogs weighing less than 10 pounds, hold the pet around his chest using your dominant hand. (The thumb should be on one side and four fingers on the other side.)  Squeeze 100 to 150 times a minute.

For small dogs weighing more than 10 pounds, use the ball of your dominant hand to compress the chest while using the non-dominant hand to support the dog's back and keep him from sliding. Compress the chest by about 25 to 33 percent of its diameter.

ē In medium and large dogs , use one or two hands to compress the widest part of the chest by 25 to 33 percent of its diameter. Do this 80 to 120 times a minute. To deliver optimal force, lean over the dog and compress his chest with your elbow(s) locked. Compressions can also be delivered over the sternum (breastbone) with the dog on his back.

Coordinate artificial respirations and chest compressions. If you are alone, give two breaths after every 15 compressions. If you have help, give one breath during every second or third compression.

Get the dog to a veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible. If possible, transport the dog during CPR. (Even if he recovers from CPR a veterinarian should examine him.)

Now you know what to do in case you are faced with this type of emergency. It may never happen to you, but if it does you will
be-prepared. Remember, in this situation, quick response is crucial.

I hope you found this information helpful. My goal is to give you the information and resources you need to keep your dog healthy and happy so you can enjoy each other for a long time to come.

Until next time, Dr. Jon


Exercising Your Senior Dog

Some Exercise and play is important to all dogs, including your elderly dog.

First of all, exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight may lead to a number of health problems. It places excess stress on your pet's heart. Excess weight on degenerating joints can speed up the development of arthritis.

Your elderly dog's mental health may also benefit from exercise. Activity keeps oxygen and other nutrients at optimum levels in the brain. The brain is like every other organ in the body in that it requires good nutrition.


Nutrition Tip

Refusing To Eat

Some dogs are particular about what it wants to eat, refusing perfectly good food. This is often a learned behavior. Dogs are built to gorge on food when it is available, and they can go without it for many days without harming themselves.


Pennywise Pet Care
by Mari S. Gold

Here are some ways to keep your furry pals healthy and happy with-out breaking the bank.

Read Labels. High-quality pet food has meat as the first ingredient on the label, little or no animal by products and fewer "fillers" and carbohydrates such as corn. Nutritious food helps keep pets healthy. Buying large bags or cases is the most economical approach.

Keep pets trim. Obesity leads to arthritis, diabetes and cancer in dogs and cats just as it does in humans. Make time for daily exercise, don't overfeed your pet and limit treats.

"Spay or neuter pets to cut down on breast cancer and do away with uterine infections, testicular and uterine cancer," says veterinarian Susan R. Rosenblatt, of Kindness Animal Hospital, in Waltham, Mass. Walk-in and mobile clinics often offer low-cost spaying and neutering.

Scheduling vet visits. Pets need regular checkups to catch problems early when they are less costly to treat. However, animals don't necessarily need all vacations each year. Ask your veterinarian which vaccines your pet needs, and skip the others.

Comparison shop. Some pet medicines and health products can be purchased for less online or at pet stores, although you need your vet's prescription for pharmaceuticals. "Be sure to deal with reputable online vendors," Rosenblatt says. "Some small companies won't stand behind their products if your pet becomes ill." Your veterinarian may match online prices if you ask.

Groom at home. Stretch time between professional grooming by bathing pets and trimming their nails yourself. Brushing your pet's teeth cuts down on expensive cleaning.


Heatstroke and your pet

As the weather starts to get warmer everyone needs to be aware how to protect dogs from heatstroke. If youíre in the grocery store parking lot and you pass a car with a dog panting inside you should run into the grocery store and page the dogís owner. The panting dog may be minutes from death, a victim of heatstroke. The dog needs to be let out of the car and reduce its body temperature. 

Every year, thousands of pets die from overexposure to heat. Itís usually because people leave their pets in cars while they shop or run a quick errand. It doesnít have to be extremely hot outdoors for a pet to suffer heatstroke inside a car. Leaving a pet inside a closed automobile for just 15 to 20 minutes is risky on an 80 degree day, as temperatures can quickly rise to 120 degrees, enough heat to kill a pet. Even 10 minutes inside a hot car is enough to cause exhaustive heatstroke in cats and small dogs.

Leaving windows wide open in the car is not the answer. Additional dangers come with that option as your pet may jump out of the vehicle and become a traffic casualty, and leaving the windows open just a crack, isnít enough to prevent heatstroke.

Heatstroke can be prevented quite easily if you leave your pet at home when running errands in the warm/hot months. If it is not possible to leave your pet at home, then take these precautions to prevent heatstroke during short trips by running errands during cooler times of the day, at dawn or dusk. Always carry a large jug of fresh, cool water from home and a bowl from which your pet may drink. Be sure to check on your petís health every few minutes.

The Signs of Heatstroke

Heatstroke in a pet is very easy to diagnose. Some of the first signs are quite visible, they include excessive panting, salivation, and a racing pulse. The pet also will have a high body temperature and may even vomit. In latter stages of heatstroke, a pet will lapse into a coma, and at this point, many pets suffer brain damage and die.

 Emergency Treatment

When your pet experiences some of the warning signs of heatstroke, it is best to try to lower your petís body temperature on the way to the veterinarian by pouring cold water over your petís body as this may help. Try ice packs, if they are available, you should also rinse your petís mouth with cool water, but offer only small amount of water to drink. Every summer, many pet owners return to their cars to find their pet needlessly lost to heatstroke.


Foxtails are Dangerous to Your Dog's Health


What are Foxtails?

You've probably seen plenty of foxtails out in nature, mostly growing in vacant logs, along roadsides, or in meadows, but you may not have know what they were called. Foxtails are simply a foxtail-like cluster of seeds on the stalks of certain types of grasses. The clusters have sharp points that are designed by nature to penetrate the soil once the cluster comes loose from the plant, which enables the seed to take hold in the ground and start to grow roots.

To ensure that the seeds will take root to the ground, the cluster contains barbs that make it hard for the cluster to come loose from the dirt once it starts to penetrate. The outside of the cluster also harbors a bacteria that contains and enzyme that is designed to break down cellular matter to help the seed burry into the ground past other plants.

You can find foxtails all around the country, but they are most common in the Western United States. The largest occurrence of foxtails is in California.

Foxtails cause the most problems for dogs during the late spring and summer months, mostly in drier climates, as this is when they come loose from the plant and start looking for a place to bury.

Why are Foxtails Dangerous?

Although, foxtails are great for reseeding plants in nature's sense, but for dogs, it creates a whole other issue. When a dog comes into contact with a loose foxtail cluster, the cluster can attach to the dog's fur and begin to move inward as the dog moves. The barbs on the cluster will keep the foxtail from falling off or backing out of the fur, and the enzymes in the bacteria break down the dog's hair and tissues. The foxtail will work its way into the dog's body, just as it does the ground.

Dogs that come into contact with foxtails have a pretty good chance of having at least one of these seed clusters try to work its way into the dog's body, which can result in a very sick dog. The degree of illness will depend on the area where he foxtail tries to enter and how much damage was caused in the process.

Foxtails can enter the dog's nasal passage, eyes, ears, and mouth, and can work their way into the dog's lungs, along the backbone, and into many other locations throughout the dog's body.

A veterinarian will need to locate the foxtail and remove it. If the foxtail has embedded past the reach of tweezers or forceps, the dog will need to undergo surgery to remove the foxtail.

Keep Your Dog Away from Foxtails

Because there is a potentially for a very dangerous situation when a foxtail comes in contact with a dog, it is imperative to dog owners who live in areas where foxtails are prevalent use preventative measures to ensure that pets are kept free and clear of these foxtail clusters.

    Avoid walking your dog in fields or on roadsides where foxtails grow. You shouldn't have a problem walking your dog where the grass is green, as foxtails grow in dry areas.

    When camping or hiking, keep an eye out for foxtails, and try to keep the dog away from those areas as best as you can.

    Remove any weeds in your yard.

    Discourage your dog from chewing on grass.

    Examine your dog DAILY, especially after each trip outside.

If your dog does come into contact with a foxtail-infested area, you want to make sure that you carefully look him over for any foxtail seed clusters that may be lodged in his coat. Dogs with thicker coats have a greater risk of you missing a foxtail, so you want to look very closely, especially if your dog has an undercoat where the seeds can hide. Some owners will trim the coat of dogs that have thicker fur, so that foxtails are easier to spot.

Make sure to give your dog a thorough grooming after the dog has come into contact with foxtail-infested area. Make sure that you comb the entire coat with a fine-tooth comb, such as a flea comb. Examine between toes, under the armpits, stomach, and inside the ears.

Signs that Your Dog Has a Foxtail

In the nose: Sudden sneezing, pawing at his nose, and possible bleeding from the nostril. If a foxtail is able to work its way into the sinus cavity, the dog's symptoms will eventually disappear, which may lead you to believe that whatever was bothering him has gone away, but if the foxtail is in the sinus cavity, then the situation can become very dangerous, possibly leading to severe infection.

In an ear: Pawing at the ear, head tilt, shaking the head, crying, and possibly stiff gait when walking. You may not be able to see the foxtail, once it embeds deep within the ear.

In an eye: Squinting, tearing, and mucous discharge. The dog may paw at the eye, but you may not be able to see the foxtail if has already lodged beneath the eyelid.

In the mouth: Gagging, retch, cough, eat grass, stretch his neck, and swallow repeatedly.

If you think that your dog has encountered a foxtail, you'll want to seek assistance of a vet immediately if you can't remove the foxtail yourself. It's very important that your act as quickly as possible because embedded foxtails can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. The methods outlined above may or may not work for your pet. If you have any concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.


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