Lindsay Barnett – LA Times – July 31, 2009
A woman attending a child’s birthday party in Huntington Beach Sunday wound up saving a little dog’s life by performing mouth-to-snout resuscitation on it when it accidentally hanged itself with its leash.
Maricruz Cisneros had tied her two dogs in a backyard treehouse and blocked the treehouse entrance with chairs in order to keep them from escaping during the party; a gate to the yard, which is normally kept closed, was open to allow guests to enter. But the entrance apparently wasn’t blocked quite well enough, and one of the dogs, a Chihuahua, somehow fell from the treehouse while still attached to its leash. The leash acted as a noose, choking the dog.
Fortunately for the dog, one of the partygoers was Krisna Torres, who sprung into action when she saw what had happened. “Her eyes were blank, she wasn’t breathing, nothing,” Torres told the Orange County Register. “She wasn’t responding.”
Torres cleared the dog’s airway and performed mouth-to-snout resuscitation. According to KTLA, the dog gasped and began breathing on its own after receiving about two minutes of rescue breathing from Torres. After all the excitement, the dog was taken to a veterinarian, checked out and allowed to return home.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers this advice for pet owners who find themselves in a similar situation:
CPR may be necessary if you remove the object your dog is choking on, but he is still unconscious. First check to see if he’s breathing. If not, place him on his side and perform artificial respiration by extending his head and neck, holding his jaws closed and blowing into his nostrils once every three seconds. (Ensure no air escapes between your mouth and the dog’s nose.) If you don’t feel a heartbeat, incorporate cardiac massage while administering artificial respiration — three quick, firm chest compressions for every respiration — until your dog resumes breathing on his own.
See the ASPCA’s website for more information on emergency pet care. And, for the love of Pete, let’s all vow to keep dogs out of treehouses!
— Lindsay Barnett