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When we hear the term CPR, we usually assume the speaker is referring to the life-saving procedure used on humans. But the American Red Cross in West Plains will be conducting a class tomorrow about CPR for dogs and cats. KSMU’s Theresa Carter talked with one person who will be conducting the class, as well as a local veterinarian on CPR and pets.
Many people share their homes with their four legged friends, and want to do what is best for them. This can include handling difficult emergency situations. Pet owners may face a crisis situation with their pet that requires immediate attention, even before they have a chance to get to a vet. A CPR class for dogs and cats will be held tomorrow, covering many topics regarding emergency treatment for pets. Jan Rickert is the executive officer of the West Plains Red Cross office chapter.
"This training is really intended to provide some training for pet owners, to be able to provide for their dog or cat. It is not intended to take the place of a veterinarian. But rather to provide a better chance for a successful outcome, if there is an emergency."
Pet owners may run into situations where an object may be obstructing the animal’s airway causing respiratory arrest. In these cases, dislodging the item and breathing for the pet becomes necessary. This is usually successful if the cat or dog’s heart is still beating and has not gone into arrest as well. Kathryn Mainka, associate veterinarian at the Springfield Sunshine Animal Hospital, explains how prevention is the best medicine.
"Prevention is key. There are certain toys, rawhides, and different things like that. If you can just watch them while they are chewing on things like that, you can prevent them from choking."
Mainka says pet owners should minimize choking hazards by monitoring pets with their own toys, watching them around children’s toys, and safeguarding or “pet proofing” households from common hazards. Preventative health care such, as regular check ups, is also vital to prevention.
The class at the West Plains Red Cross is nearly full, but organizers say that they’re looking into holding more classes on CPR for pets. The Springfield chapter of the Red Cross will also be holding a similar class on September 26th. Below is link to more information.
West Plains Red Cross office-417-257-0018Springfield Red Cross office-417-832-9500
For KSMU news, I’m Theresa Carter.