Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Why First Aid for Dogs is Important

Today was a day I won't easily forget.  My sweet old sheltie nearly died today.  It all started over the weekend when she came down with diarrhea.  I put her on a chicken and rice diet.  This morning I added kibble to the rice mixture.  I asked my husband to watch the dogs (Tazz can push the girls off their food) and I walked down the hall to feed Olive (she gets breakfast in her crate or for training treats).
Just as I let Olive out of her crate to play some tricks, Kel yells that he needs me NOW!  I put Olive in her crate with her food and run down the hall.  Kel says he thought Maddie was throwing up but he guesses she is ok now.  I see Maddie running, stumbling, falling at me...then past me as I grab her to see what is the matter.  I thought she might be having a heart attack or a seizure.
When I got down with her I realized she couldn't breath.  I figured she had something caught in her throat.  I knew that in cases like this you should lift the dog up by the hind end and see if they can work it out.  Doing this I called to Kel and he was by my side.  I had him hold her up and I got down and opened her mouth.  Her tongue and gums were grey.  Her eyes were sunken and looked wrong.  I opened her mouth and reached up and she had her breakfast caught in her throat.  She was loosing consciousness. I just kept scooping and pulling crap out until she bit me pretty hard (thankfully she doesn't have many teeth).  I stopped then and waited letting her try to catch a breath.
Maddie was still having trouble breathing, but at least you could see she was getting some air.  Then I said, "I'm taking her to the emergency vet."  Kel said wait for me I'll change and we'll go together. I put her in my car on the passenger side and waited for Kel.  The time it took for Kel to get there, she became calm and was breathing normally.
Thank goodness.  Been watching her all day and she is fine.  Even spunky enough to bark at the UPS truck!
I believe that Maddie started to gulp her food and with the rice it was too dry and sticky and got caught.  If she'd have eaten slower, or I had wet the food more... Tonight I'm feeding her kibble by kibble!
I have my friend Cindy Wilde to thank for the life saving advice.  We were talking about a class for first aid and specifically what she learned about choking.  That advice helped and I am forever grateful.  I am totally getting myself to the first aid for dogs class soon!
I may post and upload photos of my other dogs more often than Maddie (it is hard with a black headed dog to get good pictures), but rest assured I love this little girl.  She is my sidekick and office staff.  She loves my tomatoes, getting scratches, sleeping on the couch, and I adore her.  Nothing makes me happier then to watch her get the zoomies on the agility yard.  Every one of my dogs loves to wrestle with Mads...yet Maddie has ruled this house since she came to live here in 1999.  At 14 years old, we live and enjoy every day together and hope for many years ahead of us.

Update:  July 25 - Maddie is doing great.  After she rested, I cleaned her up and let her sleep all day.  She is normal this morning, causing trouble :)  Ate breakfast and all systems are functioning normally.  I believe I need to get an elevated food bowl for her.  I've been hand feeding and I see that he is bending funny and scooping her food but when I elevate, she is eating more regularly.  Such a weird experience yesterday.  Love my Mads!


Diana said...

Wow, that s scary! With people ,it's recommended they see a doctor after choking on something because there can be swelling that occurs afterwards.

Kathy said...

Thank heavens, almost as important as the knowledge of what to do is being able to calm yourself and think, sounds like you are pretty good at that thank heavens, so glad she is ok!