If you follow Albie on twitter you will know a few weeks ago he choked to the point where he stopped breathing.
Would you know what to do if your dog was choking? Leigh and I have been on a Pet First Aid course arrange by Pets In Practise because we have learnt that if anything is going to happen to a dog you can be sure it will be Albie!
It was just a normal Friday night, sitting on our sofas watching television with one of our first fires of the winter. Albie went to our back door and asked to go outside, once he came back in he had a biscuit - we always give him a biscuit as he loves being outside so much and would really prefer to stay out there so we hope giving him a treat helps soften the blow!
He came back into the lounge and after a few minutes he started acting very oddly, he jumped up on the sofa beside Leigh but got down again straight away. He started to move fairly quickly in circles as if he was in sudden immense pain. He wasn't making any sounds, not appearing to try and cough just moving very quickly and panicked with his tail tucked.
We had only seen him move like this when he was in pain, real pain, and we thought something had happened internally, or that perhaps his tummy had twisted.
Without giving all the finer (somewhat dull!) details of where we were in the house and me rushing to grab my shoes (!) eventually Leigh realised that he couldn't hear a sound coming from Albie. Nothing at all. He wasn't coughing or whining and most terrifying of all we realised there was no sound of breath.
We have had previous experience of a dog that suffered massive internal trauma that behaved in a similar way so we were very concerned about doing anything that used too much physical force because from our own limited knowledge Albie wasn't behaving in a way that would normally be associated with choking.
What happened next was just incredible luck and an angel must have been looking down on us all.
We really didn't know what was happening but around the same time that Leigh realised Albie wasn't breathing he put his hands onto Albie's neck, he moved them in an upwards motion to try and see if he could feel anything wrong in his neck/throat area and within seconds we could hear him breathing again, the piece of biscuit that was stuck had clearly dislodged just enough to become lose and allow him to breathe again. Within seconds Albie was acting like normal and 5 minutes later he was curled up fast asleep.
This was the day that Leigh saved Albie's life. Albie has always been especially close to Leigh, he adores his daddy and this is the ultimate connection that they can always carry together.
Albie never collapsed, he never coughed, and never did any of the normal things that would indicate he was choking. The biscuit he had was just a normal sized treat and one he has had many times before, he always chews his biscuits too (unlike Kizzie!).
He is absolutely fine now but I must confess that I will never ever leave them eating a biscuit when we go out, no matter how small it is! Their Kong's will only have soft smooth pastes smeared in them (pate, soft cheese, peanut butter) no added biscuits, nothing! It took a few minutes before Albie started struggling by which time we would be in our car pulling out of the driveway.
So I urge anyone reading this to get yourselves on a First Aid Course. Every pet owner needs to know what to do in emergencies like this, we are so incredibly lucky because it could have been oh so different. Oh and keep your vets details close to hand including their out of hours emergency contact details! You will often find you have to travel to a different vet during out of hours treatment so make sure you know how to get there as the last thing you will want to do in an emergency is programme your Sat Nav.
For more information about choking and what to do the Vets Now website has some great information here.