Giving your companion animal CPR

This is an interesting concept and it’s coming out of Singapore where there is a growing interest in pet ownership and where the pet population is projected to grow to 820,000 in 2019.

Training CPR on dogs at Dog First Aid. Photo: Dog First Aid
Training CPR on dogs at Dog First Aid — Photo: Dog First Aid

I have never considered giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a cat before. And yet, Maggie Charn, in Singapore knows how to do it and this 43-year-old is among an increasing number of pet owners in Singapore who have learnt these basic first-aid skills for companion animals.

Maggie has already used CPR under live conditions when she applied her first-aid skills to save “Rocky”, her dog who had a heart condition.

She said that after 10 to 12 chest compressions she heard her dog cough followed by a very deep breath. His heart started to beat again and he started to breathe, she said.

Maggie has become a course instructor and the owner of Dog First-Aid.

Between 2015 and 2018, Yahoo News tells us that Dog First Aid has certified over 200 people as Canine First Responders.

Courses normally have around 10 to 20 participants. On completion the participants have skills to handle life-and-death situations. These include pets choking on toys or suffering from a cardiac arrest. Participants also train to manage spinal injuries and control bleeding wounds. Classes cost between $195 and $225. Courses are conducted twice a month or once every 2 to 3 months.

The video shows how to administer CPR to a dog using a dummy. I’m not sure whether this is a first of its kind. I have never seen it before and it is interesting that Singapore appears to be leading the way on this.

I would expect it to be rarely used but that is not to say that it is not useful to have the knowledge. I believe that cat and dog owners should have a reasonable knowledge of cat and dog health issues to allow them to make informed decisions about whether they can employ home treatments or when they have to take their companion animal to a veterinarian. Knowledge about cat and dog health also allows pet owners to discuss issues in a much more informative way with their veterinarian to the patient’s benefit.

As always, the first port of call is to see your veterinarian and not try and deal with health issues on your own unless you are skilled and provided you are not fooling yourself into believing that you are skilled!

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