A mum-of-two has revealed how she saved her dog’s life by performing the Heimlich manoeuvre on him when he started choking.
Louise Davies, 48, had been at home with French bulldog Angus when he began making retching noises and losing the colour from his face.
She then jumped into action as he started to lean sideways, looking as if he was about to lose consciousness.
The church administrator had recently undergone a first aid course and knew to grab Angus from behind and start pulling on his stomach.
She said: ‘I knew straight away that Angus must be choking. It was horrifying to see, he could not breathe at all.
‘My heart was in my mouth at first but my training kicked in, allowing me to keep calm.
‘I looked in Angus’ mouth and, when I couldn’t see anything, I picked him up from behind and pulled into his belly.
‘Nothing happened the first time so I had to do it again, and this time he started breathing again.’
Louise, who bought Angus for her daughter Jessica, 21, suspects the dog had been choking on a piece of sofa.
However, she says he must have eventually swallowed the item as nothing flew out of his mouth.
The family later took Angus to the vet for a check-up and he was given the all-clear.
Louise, from Congleton, Cheshire, described the dog as ‘a cheeky little thing’ who ‘snaffles everything’, including four of her sofas.
She continued: ‘I am so grateful I had done a first aid course, it just goes to show that first aid knowledge of any kind is worth knowing.
‘I never thought I would be saving the life of my dog when I did that course but I am so happy I did. This could have been a very different story.’
The Heimlich manoeuvre and CPR can be critical to saving a pet’s life, although experts advise owners to only perform the moves when in an emergency.
There is a risk of potentially damaging a dog’s internal organs if too much force is applied.
A dog’s ribs are also more flexible than a human’s so thrusting hard may not create enough pressure to expel the foreign object.
More information about performing the Heimlich manoeuvre on a dog can be found here.