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What to Do in an Emergency: Signs of Choking in Pets

As much as you try to protect your furry companions, accidents can happen. Recognizing the signs of choking in pets and knowing what to do in an emergency can help save your pet’s life. Here is a look at the signs of choking in pets and steps you can take to help them in a crisis.


Signs of Pet Choking

Signs of choking in pets can vary. They typically depend on the severity and location of the obstruction. Some of them include:

  • Difficulty breathing or panting

  • Gagging or retching

  • Pawing at the mouth or throat

  • Blue or pale gums and tongue

  • Collapse or unresponsiveness

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to act quickly.


What to Do in an Emergency:

Remain Calm and Assess the Situation

Staying calm and not panicking is essential. Assess the situation to determine if your pet is truly choking or if they are having a different type of emergency.

Check Your Pet's Mouth and Throat

If your pet is conscious, check its mouth and throat to see if you can identify the object causing the obstruction. If you can see and safely remove the object, do so.

Perform the Heimlich Maneuver

If your pet is still choking and conscious, you can try performing the Heimlich maneuver. This involves standing behind your pet, placing your fists just below its rib cage, and applying firm pressure to its abdomen.

Seek Emergency Veterinary Care

Seek immediate veterinary care if the obstruction does not clear or your pet is unconscious. As choking can be fatal, time is of the essence. Be sure to call the practice to let us know you’re on your way.


Preventing Choking in Pets

Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding a choking opportunity. Follow these tips to prevent your furry friend from choking.

  • Supervise your pet when they are eating or playing with toys

  • Choose appropriate-sized toys for your pet

  • Avoid giving your pet bones, as these can easily splinter and cause obstructions

  • Keep small objects, such as coins and rubber bands, out of your pet's reach

  • Learn CPR and basic first aid techniques for pets

Also, keep yourself updated with the latest safety techniques; accidents are unpredictable, and you never know when you will need them.

If your pet requires emergency assistance, visit the Animal Emergency Center of Killeen at our office in Killeen, Texas. You can also call (254) 628-5017.

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