Life saving technique to help save your pet

Statistics show that 92,000 people are saved each year by cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR.

If you needed help you would hope those around you could perform the live saving measure, but what if your pets were in a situation they needed help?

Would you know how to keep your pets breathing?

Amber Philpott introduces us to a couple working to teach every pet owner the action that could save their pet's life when only seconds count.

There are 44 million dog owners and 33 million cat owners in the United States.

For most owners, pets are just another member of the family.

James Carstarphen of Lexington admits he has a "pet friendly family."

He admits he treats his eight month old puppy Butters just like a child and says he would do whatever he could to save him.

"My first instinct is to take him to the hospital," said Carstarphen.

What if saving your four legged friend meant performing CPR, we asked Carstarphen if he knew of how to do it?

"I'm sure its something similar to what you do on humans," said Carstarphen.

It is and James and Sally Higgins teach it at the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross in Lexington.

The couple volunteers their time to help animal lovers learn the procedure of pet CPR.

Its a mouth to snout approach that could mean the difference between life and death for your pet.

"It's a tried and true way of saving your pet especially if they are in some type of cardiac emergency," said Sally Higgins.

In the safety course Sally and her husband teach a hands on approach for pet owners.

Becoming instructors was a natural fit for the owners of six dogs themselves.

"We just need to be able to respond in an emergency, we love our pets, we want to keep them with us so they give us a lot of love we owe it back," said Higgins.

The course is four hours and covers nearly 70 health topics including what do for wounds, choking, shock and broken bones. The most important though might be learning CPR.

Using Blackie a mannequin dog, James and Sally teach pet owners what to do when their dog or cat isn't breathing.

WKYT's Amber Philpott wanted to know that she could perform pet CPR if needed, so she stepped up to try.

CPR is necessary to treat an animal that is not breathing and has no pulse.

In the course you are taught to place your mouth over the dog or cat's entire snout and exhale until you see the chest rise.

The next step is to perform chest compression just like you would on a human.

James and Sally stress to pet owners that knowing what is normal for your pet is key, so that when something is off you will know it.

They also say knowing what to do in an emergency is crucial.

"By taking this course you know you have done everything you could to help them," said Sally Higgins.

The Higgins stress that performing any type of first aid is not a replacement to getting your pet to the vet for additional treatment.

The pet first aid course cost $70.

For more information on how to sign up go to the Red Cross link listed below.

The course also teaches pet owners how to put together a first aid kit for animals. It should include things like:

Absorbent Compresses
Adhesive Tape
Clean cloth
Extra Leash
Needle Nose pliers
Roll Gauze
Wire cutters
Pet Identification
List of medicines your pet takes
Sterile water based lubricant (KY Jelly)

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