Emergency Resuscitation: CPR Could Save Your Dog

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Emergency Resuscitation: CPR Could Save Your Dog

When your dog is like a member of your family, you’ll want to do whatever it takes to keep them healthy and living for as long as possible. Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs can have unexpected accidents that put their lives in danger. If you learn the basics about dog first aid, you could save the life of your pet or keep them stable enough so that they can get help from a professional. Here are some of the basics of life-saving dog first aid that you should know. CPR Did you know you can administer CPR to a dog if they have no pulse and are not breathing? Just like human CPR, you need to look for vital signs and use the right procedures in order for CPR to be effective. If you notice that your dog is unconscious, follow these steps for proper resuscitation.  Check for a pulse. The best places to check for a pulse on a dog are at the wrist (just above the front paw), the inner side of the thigh (back leg), or the elbow (the place where the front leg joins with the body). If you are unsure, check a pulse in multiple places for more accuracy.  Check for breathing. Hold your hand in front of your pet’s nose. If you feel no air, and you do not see the chest rising and falling, you can assume that they are not breathing, especially if you feel no pulse. You can also check blood oxygenation by looking at the gums of the dog. They should be healthy and pink. Grey gums are a sign that the heart and lungs are not working. Begin rescue breathing. Start by giving your dog air. For very small dogs, place your mouth over the mouth and nose when providing rescue breaths. For larger dogs, just breath over the nose while holding the mouth closed. If the lungs do not expand, this is a sign that the air passage is blocked, and you may need to administer the Heimlich maneuver, as will be detailed below.  Start compressions. To administer compressions properly, the dog should be positioned on its side. Place your hands over the rib cage where the foreleg meets at the elbow, one hand on top of the other with the palms facing down. You should give about 2 breaths for every 30 compressions. If your dog is small, don’t place too much force when giving compressions. The indent of your compressions should be about 1/3 to 1/2 of the total width of the chest. Dogs have different chest shapes. For narrow chested dogs, the hands should be as close to the heart as possible. For large dogs, the hands should be as central to the chest as possible, in order to have a greater impact on pumping the blood.  Switch hands. If you must perform CPR for longer than two minutes, it is best to trade out the person to prevent tiring. Dogs should receive a total of 100-120 chest compressions per minute. Heimlich Maneuver If you can’t begin rescue breathing because the airway is blocked, you will need to clear it before continuing. First, look inside the dog’s mouth to make sure there are no obstructions. If you see nothing: Hold your dog upside-down, with...

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Your Obsessive Compulsive Cat Needs Your Help

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Your Obsessive Compulsive Cat Needs Your Help

Cats display some odd behaviors. Sometimes the behaviors go beyond the norm to some seriously compulsive behaviors. If you cat is compulsively licking or chewing, you may have a cat with obsessive compulsive disorder. You probably had no idea that cats can have disorders that are generally known as human. If you think your cat is displaying obsessive behaviors, read more causes and ways to minimize them below. Types of compulsive behaviors Cats with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) may display one or more obsessive behaviors. These behaviors include: Grooming Pawing Licking Sucking The behaviors become compulsive when they are no longer normal and are becoming a problem. For example, a cat with compulsive grooming will often groom itself or another animal in your home until bald spots start appearing. Some cats will paw at a certain object or just a specific place on the floor for hours. Other cats will lick compulsively. It may be a blanket, themselves, or even your face. It can start out as cute, but then your feline friend will lick your face raw if you let it. When cats are compulsively sucking, they often suck on a piece of fabric or a plastic object for hours. Causes of compulsive behaviors It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific cause of OCD in cats. Some of the causes include a genetic predisposition, stress, medical problems, and emotional conflicts. Cats that are separated from their mother too early, or left alone often at a young age are more likely to develop OCD than their counterparts. While you may be able to look back and pinpoint a cause, experts are never completely sure when it comes to a specific case. It may be a learned behavior or a gene passed from the mother. It may be because they’re anxious, or find the behaviors self-rewarding. How to stop the compulsive behaviors If your cat’s compulsive behaviors aren’t harming anyone or anything in your home, trying to reverse the behaviors may not even be necessary. However, you can do some things yourself to try and keep the OCD at bay. When your cat begins the compulsive behaviors, try and distract your cat with something. You can try blowing a whistle or making another loud noise, moving stuff around by your cat, or anything else that will get its attention. After your cat stops, reward it with some treats and a toy. It’s important to use positive reinforcement. Anxiety drives the behaviors in cats with OCD, punishing your cat with a spray bottle, violence, or anything else that will upset it will only increase its anxiety. If your cat’s OCD is harmful, you will want to seek professional help. Veterinarians can actually prescribe medication that will reduce to eliminate the behaviors. The two types of medications that are generally prescribed for feline OCD are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). If your at-home behavioral therapy isn’t working, your kitty cat may need some medicinal help. Facts about compulsive behaviors Cats usually develop compulsive behaviors between three months and two years old. Indoor cats are more likely to develop OCD because they receive less exercise and mental stimulation than outdoor cats. Moving or having a baby can stress your cat out enough to trigger OCD. Oriental and pure breeds are more...

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