Have you ever taken a dog first aid course or CPR class? I didn’t know that every authority was using different guidelines for how to do CPR on a dog. Turns out that the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University are now trying to standardize practices, issuing the first set of evidence-based guidelines for resuscitating dogs (and cats) whose hearts have stopped beating.
Conveniently, the number of compressions per minute is 100 – 120, the same as for humans, which means you can also sing “Stayin’ Alive” while you are doing CPR on dogs to keep yourself on track. (If you don’t know, that’s how they teach medical students these days because the song was recorded at 103 beats per minute so it seems to help people stay on the right rhythm if they sing while they compress.)
For most dogs, chest compressions can be performed on the widest part of the chest while the animal is lying on its side. In with more keel-shaped chests, like Greyhounds, push down closer to the dog’s armpit, directly over the heart. Barrel-chested dogs like English Bulldogs should be laid on their backs and compressed on the breastbone, like people. Smaller dogs can either be chest-compressed with one hand wrapped around the sternum, encircling the heart or two-handed on the ribs.
Explanatory pictures and more information are available on International Business Times.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!