Hazardous materials and poisonings

Working dogs may be exposed to a great variety of hazardous materials and poisons. Dogs may ingest and inhale toxins, or absorb them through their skin. If you are concerned that your dog has been exposed to a toxin, you should first avoid further exposure to the substance by the dog, and exposure of yourself and other people to a contaminated dog. Use protective clothing when handling the contaminated dog. Externally contaminated dogs may be washed with liberal amounts of a mild soap, but it is best not to use detergent, and water. To treat ingested or inhaled toxins veterinary advice should be sought.

SAR dog choking: Many times when dogs are playing with something they swallow it accidentally and the foreign object becoming lodged in their throat cause them to either become completely unable to breathe or their throats to become partially blocked. In either case the result is that the dog will often wildly run forward and back with its head held high and neck stretched out, trying to breather better. Also the dog will often try and dislodge the object that is blocking its airways either by using its paws or trying to vomit. Often if the dog has something stuck in its throat it will whine loudly and wildly as if it is in extreme pain. It will most likely be abnormally salivating. If you can see the foreign object then it is ok to try and remove it with your fingers although there is a very big risk of the dog inadvertently biting your fingers. If you cannot see what is causing the blockage do not attempt to remove it with your fingers as you could end up worsening the injury of your dog.

With a small dog you can hold them up by their back legs and with their head hanging down open up their mouth with your free hand and pull outwards on their tongue. It is likely that with this the foreign object will fall out. If not you should proceed immediately to the Heimlich maneuver. Be careful when performing the Heimlich on small dogs as you could inadvertently break a rib or cause internal damage if you squeeze too hard. If you have a large SAR dog lay them so that their head is hanging down and opening their mouth quickly clean out their throat while pulling outwards on their tongue. Again if this doesn't work then proceed immediately to the Heimlich maneuver. If after removing the blockage the dog is still not breathing or is breathing extremely shallow then begin with artificial respiration (mouth to mouth) and if the dog has no pulse then begin CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation). Seek immediate medical attention.

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