The basics of giving first aid to pets

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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Summer is in full swing, and with it comes many new dangers that can afflict one’s pet.

Be it the heat, insects or even spending long periods of time in the car, it is best to know how to provide first aid to animals.

“We typically spend a lot more time outside in the summer months, and so in that time, we do run the risk of hyperthermia, so overheating in dogs when we’re exercising or left in hot cars,” said Dr. Regina Liskey, a veterinarian at North Paws Animal Hospital.

And while many people know about first aid when it comes to humans, there are some differences when it comes to pets.

“And so we’re going to be working on their rib cages and the wider parts of their chests, and then we’re going to be actually blowing air into the noses of the dogs, whereas people, we’re typically blowing air into the mouths,” said Liskey.

Cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation (CPCR) — or previously abbreviated as CPR — consists of two parts: rescue breathing and chest compression.

When giving rescue breathing to a pet, it is recommended for there to at least be two people present; however, Liskey says it is more efficient to just focus on chest compression.

“It is more important that we do chest compressions than breath for them,” said Liskey, “New studies have found that chest compressions are more likely to be effective in that situation than breathing for them alone.”

But given the circumstances, it is best to bring a pet to a veterinary facility if possible.

“The closest one if possible. Not all facilities are open 24-hours, so we definitely want to be aware of which facilities are close to us and open and available.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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