Firefighters learn pet CPR

Pet CPR

Veterinarian Kathy Gillman teaches Manhattan Beach firefighters Dave Shenbaum and Tim O’Brien to administer pet CPR while Manhattan Beach Councilman Richard Montgomery looks on. Photo

Administering CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) to dogs is not much different than administering it to humans. But with dogs, the two puffs of air are administered through the nostrils, rather than the mouth, and are followed by 15 compressions of the ribcage, rather than 10 for humans. Also, dogs must be on their sides for the heart compressions, rather than on their backs. Their hearts are located where the front leg elbow meets the chest.

Pet CPR

Manhattan Beach firefighter Tim Viselli contemplates the next step.

Firefighters from the three beach cities and El Segundo learned to administer pet CPR Friday afternoon from Bay Animal Hospital veterinarians Kathleen Gillman and Sean Goodell.

Fortunately, local firefighters don’t need to worry about doggy breath. Following the class, the hospital presented the four departments with animal oxygen mask kits, paid for with donations from the hospital’s pet owners.

The kits came in bright orange bags, suitable for transporting small dogs and cats. They included three sizes of oxygen masks, oxygen tubing, and a dog leash.

Gillman recommended the firefighters attach the leash before administering CPR.

When she asked the firefighters if they often come across unconscious animals at fires, one of the officers responded, “Not often. Animals are faster than people, and smarter.”

Pet CPR 3

Veterinarian Sean Goodell demonstrates the use of an animal oxygen mask to Manhattan Beach firefighters Carlos Lopez and Tim Viselli.

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