Choking can be a life-threatening condition. Puppies, who are curious by nature, are always picking up all sorts of objects and are the most susceptible to choking on so many of the things that catch their eye. You may be able to reach into the dog's throat and dislodge the object, or you may have to perform the canine Heimlich maneuver. Lay the dog on her side and, with your palms just behind the last rib, give four quick thrusts. Check the mouth for the object and repeat the maneuver if necessary.
Some objects have been known to become dislodged by holding the dog upside down. In a last-ditch effort to save his life, I had to perform a tracheotomy on one of my Jack Russells in order to open an air passage. He had fallen unconscious and his heart had stopped beating. With that emergency action, mouth-to-muzzle resuscitation, and gentle chest compression, the dog survived. He had been choking on a piece of rawhide.
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