Image credits – Pixabay
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Artificial Respiration (AR) are emergency procedures that can save lives. However, we all wish we never have to face a scenario, where, we would be forced to use CPR/AR; not just on people, but also on our pets.
Unfortunately, such situations can’t always be avoided and in some cases, you need to be extra careful while carrying out AR/CPR.
In this case, we are referring to the administration of CPR/AR to older cats.
Ideally, it is best to rush your cat to a veterinarian in case of an emergency. However, if the situation is too drastic, a CPR/AR might be required in order to save your cat’s life.
Keep an eye out
Here are a few sings to watch out for in order to figure out if your cat needs emergency attention:
- Breathing difficulties
- Sudden illness
- Sever trauma or injury
- Sudden changes in behavior
Prior to administering CPR/AR, ensure that your cat really requires it. Try communicating with your cat. Touch or gently shake him/her. Your cat could just be sleeping. Administering CPR/AR under the wrong circumstances can end up causing more damage. For instance, you can cause injuries to your senior cat.
Check for these vital signs:
- Breathing – If your cat is breathing, CPR/AR maybe unnecessary. To know if your cat is breathing, just place a clean piece of glass or metal in front of its nose. If mist forms on the piece of glass/metal, it indicates that your cat is breathing.
- Check pulse – This can be checked by placing your hand on the inside of the cat’s thigh, right at the connection between the body and the leg.
- Check his/her gums – If the gums are grayish or bluish, then it indicates a lack of oxygen. Similarly, white gums indicate low blood circulation.
- Check for heartbeat – This can be done by placing your ear or a stethoscope on the left chest area, close to the elbow.
Administration of CPR/AR
While rushing your cat to the veterinarian, you can try some of these steps on the move.
- Check your cat’s breathing – If he/she isn’t breathing, check for obstructions in the mouth or airway. Remove if you find any. Then, pull the cat’s tongue out and place it in front of the mouth. Then, gently hold the mouth shut.
- Ensure that your cat’s neck is rested in a straight position. Breathe small puffs off air into his/her nose every 6 seconds. Ideally, it should be 10 breaths every minute. When breathing into your cat’s nose, the chest should rise and relax like it normally does.
- Check for pulse and heartbeat. If you can’t identify either, immediately place the cat on his/her right side on a surface that’s flat. Then, place your fingers and thumb from either hand on either side of your cat’s chest, right behind the elbows. Give a brief squeeze, just about enough to compress the chest to half or one-third of its actual thickness. Do this about 100 to 120 times per minute. While doing so, also administer two breaths per 30 compressions.