“Airway, Breathing and Circulation” – Katzenworld


Knowing your ABC’s for pets can help owners stabilise a pet in an emergency situation.

Despite our best efforts to protect our pets, accidents can and do happen. In serious cases, knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between life and death.

Vet charity PDSA offers resources and courses in Pet First Aid across the UK to help owners, pet business owners and animal-lovers safely deliver first aid to pets in an emergency, until they can get them to a vet.

PDSA Vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan says, “Accidents can happen at any time and require speedy action. Many people have a basic understanding of first aid for humans but when it comes to pets, there’s less awareness. In many emergency scenarios, a vet isn’t likely to be first on scene, so it’s important to know what to do.”

There are 3 steps to follow: Prepare, Recognise and Act. Always prepare for an emergency, this could help save a pet’s life.

“Taking some basic precautions can mean you have the information and tools you need to stop things from becoming more serious,” says Olivia.

Always have access to your vet’s name, address and telephone number, and keep a pen and paper handy for any instructions they give you.

Try to be vigilant and take action if you are concerned about your pet. When you recognise any concerning symptoms, it is important to consider this as a pet emergency.

Olivia added, “Having difficulty breathing, collapsing, seizures or bleeding are all emergencies. Other problems, such as severe vomiting and diarrhoea or not being able to pass any urine for over 24 hours, could also be a potential emergency, so always get in touch with your vet practice if you’re not sure.”

As soon as you recognise that you have an emergency, ensure you call your vet. They can give you advice and, if you’re heading straight there due to an emergency situation, they can prepare while you are en-route to the surgery.

You may need to act and administer pet first aid if a pet becomes unconscious or unresponsive. The key is to remain calm and don’t panic. Check their ‘ABC’ vital signs:

A – Check the Airway is clear. Pull their tongue forward and check there is nothing stuck in the throat.

B – Check they are Breathing. Look at their chest to see if it’s moving and listen over their nose or mouth for airflow. If they’re not breathing, immediately check for a heartbeat.

C – Check their Circulation. Put your hand on their chest just behind their elbow. Do they have a heartbeat?

If you are sure there is no breathing or heartbeat, you may need to perform CPR. Always call for help before starting CPR. PDSA offers free Pet First Aid courses nationally, and owners can also download a free copy of the charity’s pet first aid guide. Just visit http://www.pdsa.org.uk/firstaid.

PDSA is the UK’s leading vet charity. We’re on a mission to improve pet wellbeing through prevention, education and treatment. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information. http://www.pdsa.org.uk


6 comments on ““Airway, Breathing and Circulation” – Katzenworld

  1. It really makes a difference! My father was able to revive our dog promptly using his knowledge of human CPR. He had learned it pre mouth to mouth and was able to scale it down to dog size, I guess. Our dog had managed to strangle itself with the leash. I think after that we made a fenced yard for the dog. I need to review my human CPR.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great! It’s scary when that happens,our husky used to go after the bees, I lost count how many times we had to rush her to the vets, my husband would be driving and I’d be doing CPR, it got to the point that we could call and they be standing there with a shot waiting for us to come in the door…

      Liked by 1 person

        • Both! We had a Rose of Sharon bush and the bees love that bush and I guess all the buzzing and heavy activity fascinated her and she would try to catch them, the first time we think she swallowed one, for some unknown reason I decide to check on her and just as I did she collapsed and went stiff, by the time we got there she was coming around, but she still was out of it, they put her on oxygen she was so confused when she came to she looked at all of us like she had no idea who any of us were. The second time I was working on the garden she ran over and grabbed one and got stung, I pulled that one out of her tongue by the time I got her inside her face was swelling up and she started acting like she was going to pass out, my next door neighbor love that bush so we asked them if they wanted it and we dug it up and put it in their yard, I get to see it at a distance. Then we started having yellow jackets nest around our home and every August would be the heavy trip to the vets, she was a smart dog she got sprayed with a skunk one time and all you had to say was “Skunk” and she would hide or stand behind me 😊 but not with the bees we never could stop her from going after them.

          Liked by 1 person

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