A very fortunate pigeon was on the receiving end of CPR last month when an Australian woman noticed the bird had stopped breathing.
"I gave him probably three or four little breaths and pumped his little chest a few times and he started to come back to life," Gail Daniell told Adelaide Now.
Pet CPR isn't a new thing. Many organizations like the Red Cross offer pet first aid classes for dogs and cats that include CPR techniques (bird resuscitation hasn't been offered quite yet).
Here are a few tips if you ever find your pet in need of some lifesaving aid, courtesy of the American Animal Hospital Association.
CPR should only be given if your pet is not breathing and has no pulse.
- Check to see if the animal is choking on a foreign object.
- If an animal is not breathing, place it on a firm surface with its left side up. Check for a heartbeat by listening at the area where the elbow touches the chest. If you hear a heartbeat but not breathing, close the animal’s mouth and breathe directly into its nose--not the mouth--until the chest expands. Repeat 12 to 15 times per minute.
- If there is no pulse, apply heart massage at the same time. The heart is located in the lower half of the chest, behind the elbow of the front left leg. Place one hand below the heart to support the chest. Place other hand over the heart and compress gently.
- To massage the hearts of cats and other tiny pets, compress the chest with the thumb and forefingers of one hand. Apply heart massage 80-120 times per minute for larger animals and 100-150 per minute for smaller ones. Alternate heart massage with breathing.
Please note: Even in the hands of well-trained veterinary health professionals, the success of resuscitation is very low overall. Success may be slightly higher in the cases of drowning or electrical shock.
Take a look at some of the more unique situations where an animal received CPR from a human below.