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Choking: Using the Heimlich Maneuver in Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
First Aid, Emergencies, & Poisons
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If your cat is unconscious If your cat is conscious
  1. Extend the head and neck. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object. If an object is blocking the airway, grab the tongue and pull it outward. If this does not dislodge the object, use your fingers, pliers, or tongs to grasp it. Be careful not to push the object farther down the airway. Use caution to avoid being bitten, should the cat not be fully unconscious.
  2. If the object cannot be reached or pulled out, lift the cat and place the cat's spine against your chest.
  3. Place both hands under your cat at the waist line, behind the ribs. Clench your hands together to make a fist and place the fist behind the last rib. Perform abdominal thrusts by pushing up with your fist quickly 5 times.
  4. Use your finger to carefully sweep the cat's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  5. If the object was not dislodged, place your hands in front of the hips, lift the cat and suspend the cat with the head hanging down.
  6. Use your finger to carefully sweep the cat's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  7. If the object was not dislodged, hold your cat in a sitting position and give 5 sharp blows with your hand to the cat's back between the shoulder blades.
  8. Use your finger to carefully sweep the cat's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  9. If the object was not dislodged, give 5 breaths (see link to 1605) and then 5 abdominal thrusts again, and continue this pattern until object is dislodged.
  10. When the object is dislodged, stop the abdominal thrusts. Check the cat's airway, breathing and heart beat. Perform CPR if needed.
  11. Take the cat to your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.
  1. Extend the head and neck. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object. If an object is blocking the airway, attempt to sweep it out using your fingers. Use caution to avoid being bitten. Be careful not to push the object farther down the airway.
  2. If the object cannot be reached or pulled out, lift the cat and place the cat's spine against your chest.
  3. Grasp the scruff of the neck with one hand. Make a fist with the other hand and place it behind the last rib. Perform abdominal thrusts by pushing up with your fist quickly 5 times.
  4. Use your finger to carefully sweep the cat's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  5. If the object was not dislodged, place your hands in front of the hips, lift the cat and suspend the cat with the head hanging down.
  6. Use your finger to carefully sweep the cat's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  7. If the object was not dislodged, hold your cat in a sitting position and give 5 sharp blows with your hand to the cat's back between the shoulder blades.
  8. Use your finger to carefully sweep the cat's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  9. If the object was not dislodged, repeat steps 2 through 8 until the object is dislodged.
  10. If the cat becomes unconscious, give 5 breaths (see link to 1605) and then 5 abdominal thrusts again.
  11. When the object is dislodged, stop the abdominal thrusts. Check the cat's airway, breathing and heart beat. Perform CPR if needed.
  12. Take the cat to your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.

Click here for a pdf version of this article.  See related products at DrsFosterSmith.com Pet Supplies  
Print Article | Email Article
 
 
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