So I was working on the calendar last night, Vienna was having dinner in the kitchen and I overheard her coughing, I thought... no big deal because sometimes she eats too fast and it happens, so I disregard it and went back to work. A few minutes later, my wife caught Vienna pacing around, pawing at her mouth, she immediately called my name in distress and my heart sank.

By the time I got to the kitchen, Vienna was already on her side, gagging with food around her mouth, she was gasping for air and then shortly passed out. I felt her pulse rate and immediately performed the heimlich maneuver for dogs, I just kept pressing and pressing, clearing her mouth in between, she was barely responding, her gum color had already turned blue and I was ready for the worst. All this time my hands never stopped pressing and then a miracle happened, I caught Vienna licking her lips, from there on I knew she was going to be okay, I cleared more food out of her mouth, she gave me a smile and stayed by my side rest of the night. 

We were very fortunate to get Vienna back, eventhough she is fighting a losing battle of lymphoma, we were not ready to let her go, not this way. Here's a few things for you to ponder:

It is extremely beneficial for you and your family to learn Canine first aid / CPR, google your local red cross and take a class, I remember it costed around $4X for students certificate and $1XX to become an instructor, that was 5 years ago.

Remain calm, survey the situation, check for vital signs, then spring into action and call for help.

Yes, there are many videos online, but please go take a class with a certified instructor and then practice on a stuffed animal. Do it, you'll never know when it'll become handy.

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Food bags KILL!

In an emergency situation, the first thing you must do is recognize that you must act.

I have been in 4 life-or death situations.  In each, I was slow to react and respond.  

When we lost Siri to a choking accident, my wife was upstairs, describing the situation in a concerned but calm voice, I was busy, did not hear everything distinctly, misunderstood a key word.  The dog was beyond help anyway, but I might have reacted better if I'd heard, "HELP ME!  COME!  NOW!!"

If you need help, don't be shy, scream bloody murder, be brief, specific, and LOUD.  Make eye contact!  That really helps people realize that it's they who have to respond now, and you're asking them, not someone else, and this is a real emergency.  People are reluctant to get involved (Kitty Genovese), and slow to comprehend.  Keep it simple, make it obvious.

Probably the most preventable corgi choking death is food bag suffocation (see above).  I only now realized that I've locked-up the indoor garbage, but left our outdoor garbage unsecured.  Another dog or animal could knock over the garbage can, releasing dangerous bones, food bags, etc.  Don't forget to watch your visitors, who will put snack food bags in an open wastebasket.

Know how to do a Heimlich on people, too.  I've seen it done, followed by CPR that restored breathing.

Your message is getting out there John. I was at the Central FL corgi picnic last month and there was an announcement to everyone about the dangers of food bags. Thanks for keeping this top of mind - there are new people on this site every day!

I didn't know they had a class for canine first aid.  Definitely need to take it.  Thanks for sharing and glad you were able to save Vienna!

Oh Sam, how scary!!  I am glad that you got her back...I don't think any of us are ready to lose her yet!  It is always great to reinforce the need to learn CPR and First Aid, even for dogs!

One time one of my dogs was choking on one of those flat rawhides (never gave them again).  It was stuck to the back of her throat and halfway down her throat...I had to do a finger sweep to lodge it out.  Very scary....I am glad that I knew what to do.  I only give rawhides now when we are home and can supervise...you just never know.

Give her a big kiss from the clan at our house!

Rats...my reply disappeared somehow. Will try to re-type later

What a scary event. Thank you for sharing, I would never have thought of learning the basics of dog heimlich maneuver.

So glad Vienna is OK. Good job, quick thinking Superman. You never think this will happen to you until it does! Good reminder for all of us. We missed you at the Central FL picnic!

So glad Vienna is OK. Good job, quick thinking Superman. You never think this will happen to you until it does! Good reminder for all of us. We missed you at the Central FL picnic!

Oh my god, Sam!  As I read your post my stomach was getting more and more knotted!  So glad you were able to save her life!

Thankfully Vienna is ok!  I have shared the Heimlich video and John's info on food bags with my Facebook friends also, this info is so important!

So glad to hear it was a good outcome. had to of been so scary. i to would like to know how to do cpr on a dog. Hope Vienna is doing well.

 

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