Choking: Using the Heimlich Maneuver in Dogs
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

If your dog can be lifted If your dog is too heavy to lift & is conscious If your dog is too heavy to lift & is unconscious
  1. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object. If the dog is unconscious and an object is blocking the airway, grab the tongue and pull it outward to try to dislodge the object. Regardless of consciousness, sweep your finger through the dog's mouth in an effort to feel or dislodge any object. Use caution to avoid being bitten.
  2. If the object cannot be reached or pulled out, lift the dog and place the dog's spine against your chest.
  3. Place both hands under your dog 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 and in with your fist quickly 5 times.
  4. Open the dog's mouth and look for a foreign object, using a penlight. Use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it. Again use caution.
  5. If the object was not dislodged, place your hands in front of the hips, lift the dog and suspend the dog with the head hanging down.
  6. Check the mouth again and use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  7. If the object was not dislodged, hold your dog in a sitting or standing position and give 5 sharp blows with your hand to the dog's back between the shoulder blades.
  8. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object, using a penlight. Use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it. Again use caution.
  9. Continue steps 2 through 8 until the object becomes dislodged.
  10. If the dog becomes unconscious, give 5 breaths (see link to 1604) and then 5 abdominal thrusts, and continue this pattern until the object is dislodged.
  11. When the object is dislodged, stop the abdominal thrusts. Check the dog's airway, breathing and heart beat. Perform CPR if needed.
  12. Take the dog to your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.
  1. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object. Sweep your finger through the dog's mouth in an effort to feel or dislodge any object. Use caution to avoid being bitten.
  2. If the object cannot be reached or pulled out, place your dog in a standing position.
  3. Standing behind the dog, bend over and wrap your arms around the dog under the rib cage. Make a fist with one hand and place the other had over your fist. Pulling in and up, give 5 rapid abdominal thrusts.
  4. Open the dog's mouth and look for the object, using a penlight. Use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it. Again, use caution.
  5. If the object was not dislodged, pick up the dog by his hind feet (like a wheelbarrow) so his head is lower than his hips.
  6. Check the mouth again and use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it.
  7. If the object was not dislodged, place your dog in a standing position. Using the palm of your hand, give 5 sharp blows on the back between the shoulder blades.
  8. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object, using a penlight. Use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it. Again use caution.
  9. Continue steps 2 through 8 until the object becomes dislodged.
  10. If the dog becomes unconscious, give 5 breaths (see link to 1604) and then 5 abdominal thrusts, and continue this pattern until the object becomes dislodged.
  11. When the object is dislodged, stop the abdominal thrusts. Check the dog's airway, breathing and heart beat. Perform CPR if needed.
  12. Take the dog to your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.
  1. Open the mouth and look for a foreign object. If the object is blocking the airway, grab the tongue and pull it outward to try to dislodge the object. Sweep your finger through the dog's mouth in an effort to feel or dislodge any object. Use caution to avoid being bitten.
  2. If the object cannot be reached or pulled out lay the dog on his right side.
  3. Kneel with the dogs legs pointing towards you. Place your palms over each other just behind the dog's ribs. Pushing in and up, give 5 rapid abdominal thrusts.
  4. Open the dog's mouth and look for the object, using a penlight. Use your finger to carefully sweep the dog's mouth to dislodge the object and remove it. Again, use caution.
  5. If the object was not dislodged, continue to repeat steps 3 and 4 until object is dislodged.
  6. If the dog is not breathing, give 5 breaths (see link to 1604) and then 5 abdominal thrusts again and continue this pattern until object is dislodged.
  7. When the object is dislodged, stop the abdominal thrusts. Check the dog's airway, breathing and heart beat. Perform CPR if needed.
  8. Take the dog to your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately.

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Reprinted from PetEducation.com.