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Attention pet owners: How to do pet CPR for medical emergencies

How to do pet CPR for medical emergencies
How to do pet CPR for medical emergencies 02:10

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- CPR for pets. Just like with people, dogs and cats with medical emergencies can need resuscitating.

Vets say CPR on an animal can be dangerous, possibly causing the pet to become aggressive. So people are advised to be trained before attempting to help an injured or distressed pet.

Pets can have medical emergencies, just like people. But research shows most pet owners wouldn't know what to do. That's why there's a growing interest in people learning pet CPR.

"Just like little kids, pets can get into all sorts of trouble, which unfortunately can lead to needing CPR," Amanda Hackerott said.

Hackerott, a registered veterinarian technician, says pet owners need to understand animals can have different kinds of emergencies.

"Pets, again, just like humans grow old and have different illnesses that can present with some kind of heart failure or again the need for some type of CPR-like intervention," Hackerott said.


The basics: first check to see if the animal is breathing or has a pulse and if necessary, just like with people, pet CPR can include chest compressions or breathing support through the nose with the mouth closed.

"We do what we call mouth to snout in terms of the respiration, and really if you're by yourself and your pet needs CPR, we do say focus more on the compressions," Hackerott said.

Joyce Eddington wished she had the training. She says it could have saved her cat Jax, who died after choking on cat food.

"I stuck my finger in his mouth because he couldn't breathe, and there was a chunk of cat food lodged in his esophagus," Eddington said.

Experts say empowering pet parents about animal emergencies can help save lives.

There are a variety of online courses teaching pet CPR including one from the Red Cross.

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