Veterinary researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell have published new “evidence-based guidelines” for resuscitating dogs and cats with stopped hearts. Shown are the basics from an International Business Times article.
University of Pennsylvania researcher Manuel Boller and his colleagues looked at decades of peer-reviewed data and determined that the proper rate for chest compressions on dogs and cats is between 100 and 120 per minute. That’s the same rhythm recommended for humans. It also happens to align to the 103-bpm Bee Gees classic disco hit “Stayin’ Alive,” which studies have shown aids medical students in performing chest compressions.
For most dogs, chest compressions can be performed on the widest part of the chest while the animal’s lying on its side. But in some breeds like greyhounds with more keel-shaped chests, the guidelines recommend pushing down closer to the dog’s armpit, directly over the heart. Barrel-chested dogs like English bulldogs can be laid on their back and compressed on the sternum, like people.
Smaller cats and dogs can either be chest-compressed with one hand wrapped around the sternum, encircling the heart or two-handed on the ribs.