What To Do if Your Dog Is Choking? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
Lotus, Mochi's mom
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What To Do if Your Dog Is Choking?

Ok, I'm finally somewhat calm enough to write this post. I still get an awful pang in my stomach everytime I think about it though.

Yesterday, I was on my computer when I looked over at Mochi with a bully stick in her mouth like a cigar. It was about 1 1/2 inches long. About a min later, I heard her gagging/choking. I reacted instantly thinking that it was the bully stick. I tried to open her mouth but she had it clenched shut. I managed to pry it open and did a visual check nothing. She started foaming at the mouth, a yellowish greenish frothy bile. I almost shoved my entire hand down her mouth trying to feel for anything while her whole body was shaking/convulsing. I think that I managed to clear her airway or push whatever was stuck there down. Anyways, a few seconds later she was fine while my entire body was shaking and I burst out crying. I honestly thought she was going to die in my arms. I looked back to her cushion and her bully stick was there.... I think she was choking on the string from the tug toy. She loves to eat string/lint/anything clothy.

Anyway, it got me to thinking... WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOUR DOG IS CHOKING?? I want to be prepared next time something like this happens. I am still tearing up as I write this. I don't know if I did the right thing and surprisingly she didn't bite me even though my whole hand was down her throat - good girl! She is getting extra loving from me now. And I'm working on putting my hand in her mouth and treating, over and over again. I don't want her to associate what I did yesterday with a bad experience.

I tried doing a search for what to do if our dogs are choking and didn't find anything. I think this is a good topic to discuss and think about.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 04:41 PM
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What a scary event! I think you did the correct thing by trying to retrieve the foriegn object - the only caveat would be that we have to be very careful not to scratch or traumatize the throat when reaching in.
The other thing to try is to hold the jaw shut, lift the head and massage the throat to attempt the get the object down into the stomach. Most things are safer in the stomach, in that you will have time to see a vet, and decide if the object can pass safely.
(this is what I had to do when Brody picked up a marble and choked on it when he was about 8 months old. I was able to massage in down, and relieve the choking, although it didn't pass from his stomach and he had to have surgery to remove it.)
I'm a retired RN, and using my common sense, but can't really think what else would be effective quickly.


Mary - Brody's Momma
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 04:42 PM
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Here you go:


That's so scary! I'm so glad that Mochi is okay... it's a good thing to know the Heimlich maneuver for your dog!

Just wanted to add the link that Sally gave in case you miss it (it's further down in the thread):


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Last edited by Lina; 04-13-2009 at 04:44 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 04:53 PM
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My Hav's tend to lick their feet alot (anyone know a remedy for this?) and tend to throw up hair balls from time to time, or just plain vomit. Well, someone told me that hydrogen peroxide can cause them to vomit and I just couldn't believe that, so I called my Vet and he said yes...I also found this video (you'd need to check with your Vet for the amount per your Hav's weight)

I keep a bottle handy with a small eyedroper.. Here is the video


-diane, Sophie and Gabriel's personal servant
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
Lotus, Mochi's mom
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Thanks for the tips! I hope it never happens again, but I will definitely be prepared if there is a next time.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 06:35 PM
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I am so sorry you had such a frightening experience. I think of this all the time as I watch my dogs chew something like their flossies or bully sticks. I asked my vet if you can do Heimlich manuever on a dog and he said yes. Bentley has an appointment Wednesday and I am going to ask him to demonstrate it.

I am so happy things turned out okay. You did the right thing even if unknowingly.

Sharlene, Evye & Bentley's Mom (Taylor too)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 06:41 PM
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HOw terrifying. Bella chokes on her food all the time. Since she stuffs her mouth full and then goes to eat it on the carpet. (yeah we are working on this). I usually do a little heimlich type thing. Push up just under her ribs. So far that has always worked. I'm always afraid I'll push the food down her windpipe. Thank goodness you are both okay.

Blessings, Luna and the girls
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 06:56 PM
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I am so relieved that Mochi is okay! This is a terrific topic to bring up.

Last year my mom's neighbor lost her small schnauzer when it was choking and she tried to make it to the vet. It died it the car on the way. The vet found an acorn lodged in it's throat.

There was recently a story on the news about a man that lost a finger while clearing the airway of his lab here in town. He said he'd do it again in a heartbeat.


"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 07:19 PM
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Be watching for a poo for at least two-three times and she is ok. It is very scary watching our little Havs make that awful noise. If they were choking, I would think you would do the same thing for a baby depending on how much they weigh.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong, please!

Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 10:21 PM
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Thanks for posting the link, Lina!

I'm so glad Mochi is okay!! And, thanks for posting about it. It is very scary to think about.

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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