What triggered me to writing this post and sharing some important information about canine first aid and CPR, was a story from this year´s 2012 Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
Musher Scott Janssen was able to save his dog Marshal´s life, by providing a mouth to snout CPR, after the dog collapsed and stopped breathing. He managed to bring him back to life and get him to the safety of a checkpoint, where a veterinary team provided a complete medical examination and further treatment of Marshal. Read the whole article about it and see videos here, it is pretty amazing.
Just yesterday, I heard another amazing, life saving story from a good friend of mine, who came with his family for a visit. Haagen told me the story of his 11 year old siberian husky female, who last year one day just dropped down and collapsed. Haagen gave her a very simple CPR and managed to bring her back to life. He thought then, that this was it - happy that his aging four legged friend and sled dog athlete was lucky enough to survive, he didn´t wish for more than her to "just live".
But she wasn´t showing any signs of being sick or of wanting to retire and somehow, at some point, she was back in training with the young dogs. And then on the longer runs. And before he knew it, she made his racing team this past season and ran a 300km race, in some severe weather, blown over trails and serious trail breaking. She finished the race in good shape.
This really made me think and wonder how many of us, dog mushers and dog owners, do really know how to give our dogs a CPR, and what do we really know on this subject.
So here is a simple and easy to understand scheme of what to do in case your dog gets in a need of CPR. It´s also good idea to print it out and hang it on your fridge or in the dog kitchen or other kennel facility, where it´s easy to reach in case you (or your handlers) need it.
Another good idea is to take a printed copy with you on your travels with dogs. We have one hanging in the oog section of the dog truck as well as one printed and folded copy in our first aid kids that we put in our sleds every time we go out with the dogs, even if only for a short run.
Instructing your dog handlers that work at your kennel or go to races with you could also be useful.
And here, all the steps, simplified and very easy to learn and understand, in a video demo:
You never know when this information and skills can be useful. And you definitely have higher chances of saving your dog´s life!
Happy Trails and Stay Safe!