CPR for Pigs

CZolicani,Feb 9, 2015  with VIN and special thanksto Dr. Roger Gfeller

Basic CPR: Chest Compressions

Make Certain the Animal isactually Unconscious
Talk to the pet first. Gently touch and attempt to awaken the pet.You could be seriously injured should you attempt to perform rescue breathingon a pig who was only sleeping heavily and was startled awake.

After Ensuring an OpenAirway, Check for a Pulse
If no pulse is detectable, begin chest compressions.

In Small pigs and piglets
Squeeze the chest using one or both hands around the chest. Depress the ribcage circumferentially (see illustration).


Do this 100 to 150 times per minute.

In Large Pigs
Compress the chest wall with one or both hands, depending on the size of thedog and the size of the rescuer (whatever works best for you). If the pig is onher side, place your hand(s) on the side of the chest wall where it is widest.If she is on her back, place your hand(s) on the breastbone. Depress the ribcage 1.5 to 4 inches, depending on the pig’s size. Do this 80 to 120 times perminute.

Coordinate Rescue Breathing and Chest Compressions

If possible, give breaths during the compressions. If it is not possible, givetwo breaths after every 12 compressions.

Continue CPR until
• You become exhausted and can’t continue.
• You get the animal transported to a veterinary facility andprofessionals can take over.
• The pulse is palpable or heartbeats are felt and they are strong andregular.

In the vast majority of cases, artificial ventilations will continue to berequired for a period of time, even though heart function has returned. This isdue to the nervous system depression that occurs as a result of the arrest.


Rescue Breathing

1.  Ensure an Open Airway


Extend the head and neck and pull the tongueforward.

Look in the mouth and remove any saliva or vomitus. If it is too dark to seeinto the mouth, sweep your finger deep into the mouth and into the throat toremove any vomit or foreign body. Be aware of a hard, smooth, bone-likestructure deep in the throat, which is likely to be the hyoid apparatus (Adam’sapple). Serious injury could result if you pull on the hyoid apparatus.

2.  Observe for Effective Breathing
Sometimes an animal will begin to breathe spontaneously when the head is put inthe position discussed above (head and neck extended, tongue pulled forward).Watch for the rise and fall of the chest while listening closely for sounds ofbreathing. If no breathing is evident in 10 seconds, begin rescue breathing.

3.  Begin Rescue Breathing
Rescue breathing is performed by covering the pig’s nose with your mouth andforcefully blowing your breath into the lungs. In small pigs and piglets, youmust hold the corners of the mouth tightly closed while you force the airin.
In larger pigs, the tongue should be pulledforward and the mouth and lips held shut using both hands cupped around themuzzle. Force air into the lungs until you see the chest expand. Take yourmouth away when the chest has fully expanded. The lungs will deflate withouthelp. Air should be forced into the lungs until you see the chest expand.

Give 3 to 5 Full Breaths
After several breaths are given, stop for a few seconds to recheck forbreathing and heart function. If the pig is still not breathing, continuerescue breathing 20 to 25 times per minute in piglets or small pigs, or 12 to20 times per minute in medium or large pigs. Push down on the stomach areaevery few seconds to help expel the air that may have blown into the stomach.If the stomach is allowed to distend with air, the pressure will make therescue breathing efforts less effective.

4.  IfBreathing is Shallow or Non-existent
If you find that breathing is either shallow or non-existent and the pet isstill unconscious, continue rescue breathing 10 to 15 times per minute andtransport the pet to the nearest veterinary facility.

All resuscitated animals should be transported to a veterinary facility forfurther examination and care!