Maxie Guard




Following are the concerns about the levels of Zinc and Parabens in the product, and copies of the communication I had with the company who makes Maxie guard, about my concerns…   I was satisfied that the levels are minimal and safe for prolonged use of this product.

These emails,  arranged chronologically from top to bottom by date sent and received..


From: Pamela Myers
Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010     9:19 PM
To: Info General
Subject: Maxi-guard Dental Spray

My veterinarian sent my Toy Poodle home with a bottle of Maxi-guard Dental Spray after her dental surgery.  I have to take Lil-Lea for her two week check up tomorow. (probably today by the time you read this)

I plan on purchasing another bottle, but since my veterinarian does *price match, I would like to purchase more.

I can not, however locate the “shelf life” of the unopened bottle and I only started the present bottle two weeks ago, so with only using it for her every night, I have no clue how long it will last yet!

Can you please tell me the shelf life of unopened bottles ?

I was also told that, providing I use it every night faithfully (which I do) ,  this is an adequate replacement for brushing and will clean teeth with or without brushing.  I would like to hear more about that please,

Such as how this works.

 Thank you

Pamela Myers 


From: Kelly Rackley
Sent: Mon 10/25/2010   9:29 AM
To: Karlin Yaeger
Subject: FW: Maxi-guard Dental Spray
Dear Pamela,
Thank you very much for your message.  We appreciate you using our product very much.
The shelf life of an unopened, unmixed bottle of MAXI/GUARD Oral Cleansing Formula is three years from the date of manufacture  We really do not have an actual expiration date on this product, but there is a lot # on the bottom of the bottle.  If you will send me that code, I will be happy to tell you when it was made and therefore when it will expire.  Our oral care products are pretty popular and sell rather well, so there is a good chance you will have quite a bit of time before the bottle expires.  The bottle that you are currently using should be stored in a cool, dark cabinet (which will give you about a 6 month shelf life) or a refrigerator (about a 14 month shelf life).  As long as the product has a blue or green color, it is perfectly effective.
Very good question about how the product works.  Brushing is the best way to apply any dental product, including our MAXI/GUARD oral care products.  However, few pets will allow you to brush their teeth.  MAXI/GUARD works very well on a tooth brush, but is also very effective when used without brushing.  The product has the ability to permeate through the plaque and it oxidizes the anaerobic bacteria (what causes plaque accumulation) while keeping the natural flora of the mouth intact (the good bacteria).  It will also eliminate the sulfur compounds responsible for bad pet breath.  In addition, this exclusive compound aids with the healing of the soft tissue (gums, etc) in the mouth.  That is a big reason why your veterinarian dispensed this product to you after oral surgery.
Thank you again for contacting us.  Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can be of any further assistance.
Karlin Yaeger
Global Sales Manager
Addison Biological Laboratory, Inc.
See our new website!
From: Pamela Myers
Sent: Mon 10/25/2010    3:04 PM
To: Karlin Yaeger
Subject: Re: Maxi-guard Dental Spray

Hi, Karlin,

That is great info on the shelf life.  This bottle will not last that long  <G>  It is already down to the below the word “directions” on the bottle and I have been using it every night for about 2 weeks and 3 days now.    I just wanted to know how many it would be wise to purchase ahead of time without having to worry about them them expiring:)  I keep the opened one in the fridge door.     Thank you!

Actually, I do have a few other questions as I have done more research  🙂  (i research everything that has to do with Lil-Lea)  But first, I want to say that since the veterinarian is not agreeing with the no brush situation. She discussed with me,  that I if I use a wet gauze pad and rub it across her teeth after Lil-Lea eats (within 24-48 hours),  that will get most of the gunk off as it is the rubbing/friction that is the best for that.  Then use the spray.    I agree,  and so,  what I am doing is spraying the maxi-guard on the gauze pad, rather than water, and rubbing her upper and lower teeth on the outside.   Then, I use the spray,  just at bedtime, when I know she is done eating and drinking for the night. Or, I do bot at the same time, each night.

Now, ………….  I read all the info on your pdf with regards the testing that was done.   What I am wondering is how much Paraben and how much Zinc are actually in the bottle and/or in each application of, lets say 6 sprays.

Since Lil-Lea only weighs 7.5 lbs, she can overload on things quite easily. I did the research on Paraben and saw that it is a “possible” contributor to risk of being a carcinogen. I read that is has been found in connection with breast cancer, but is unconfirmed as a direct cause.  So that does concern me less than the Zinc, actually, but still worries me a bit.

Can you please expound a bit on the Zinc content and how that would play out, using the spray twice a day, as a wipe and then spraying at night.  I spray along her gum lines, upper and lower on both sides. It takes about 3-4 short sprays on each side.  Her bottom jaw has bone loss and a 2 tooth roots very close to the bone, so I am making sure that those bottom teeth and gums, get sprayed directly,  even though I know the directions said it would *travel!   If she gets anything wrong with those 2 teeth that have that issue of the crooked roots, and needs them removed, her jaw could be fractured trying to get them out and I am wreck worrying over that and my veterinarian said he would not want to be the one doing it!

So, I am weighing the extra spaying,  against the  Paraben amounts, which seems like a good trade off for a possible fractured jaw down the road,  and it seems that is much less of a risk,  since she is 8 now and the risk of her getting cancer in the next 8 years, and dying  from that, at 16, assuming she lives that long, seems unlikely to me. .     I am, however still worried about a Zinc overload,  and I would love to have your input and figures on the Parben and Zinc 🙂

Thank you 🙂

Pamela Myers 

PS: Lil-Lea got a clean bill of health on her surgery on her two week check up on Friday and doctor said the healing looks fantastic, so hopefully your product helped with that.  🙂


On 2:59 PM, Karlin Yaeger wrote:
Dear Pamela,
Thank you for your response.
I am glad that you do research on the products that your use on Lil-Lea.  There are products out there that do have potentially harmful ingredients to pets and I appreciate your questions about our products.
The MAXI/GUARD Oral Cleansing Formula contains a very small amount of parabens, that are used as a preservative in the product.  The zinc is an actual active ingredient and it is also used in a very small amount (approximately 2%).   For many years we had a staff PhD in toxicology.  He performed a thoroughly analysis of the safety levels of the ingredients in all of our products.  He deemed them safe even in excessive amounts (many times the recommended dosage).  In addition, this product has been on the market for over 20 years without a confirmed case of any harmful effects.  Our products are also popular with the Holistic Veterinary Association.  As you can imagine, they investigate all products thoroughly also.  Lil-Lea should be fine with a twice daily application and it should provide optimum benefits with that dosage.
Thank you again for your questions.  Please let me know if I can be of any other assistance..
Karlin Yaeger
Global Sales Manager
Addison Biological Laboratory, Inc.
See our new website!



 C.E.T. (Several Types all on one page) 

Ingredients: Xylitol and Chlorhexidine Gluconate in a proprietary alcohol-free vehicle.   I did not check all, but some, I did check, have Xylitol perhaps all of them. Perhaps they all might!



Distilled water, Ethyl alcohol 25%, Lamiaceae and Rosaceae in trace elements.
Each bottle contains approximately 240 sprays.

Read Full – On Site


Maxi Guard Oral Cleansing Spray cleanses the Oral cavity and freshens the breath. Ingredients: Deionized Water, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Taurine, Sodium Saccharin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, FD & C Blue #1.

OraVet Plaque Prevention Gel

Odorless, tasteless and invisible once applied. The gel is compatible with tooth brushing, dental diets and dental chews.

Contains the same patented polymer as OraVetBarrier Sealant, but in a less concentrated gel formulation for easy application.

ProDen Plaque Off

Put it in the food. (People and Animal Versions)   ProDen PlaqueOff™ contains especially selected seaweed (SW1313). This entirely natural product is harvested from the seas of Norway and Iceland and compressed into small easy to swallow tablets.

Rich in natural iodine, minerals and trace elements

Free from artificial colours and preservatives, gluten and sugar


100% all natural – grapefruit seed extract, grape seed extract, rosemary oil, thyme oil, neem oil, peppermint oil, distilled water, grain alcohol.
PetzLife Oral care Spray & Gel are 100% natural. They have been tested by an independent lab and found to be perfectly safe for your pet’s.There are no side effects and are even safe enough to use on people! The main ingredient in them is grapefruit seed extract. Here is the full list of ingredients: Grapefruit seed extract, Grape seed extract, Thyme oil, Neem oil, Rosemary oil, and Peppermint oil. These are all specially formulated with distilled water and grain alcohol to produce one of the most effective and safest dental products ever produced. (click here for individual ingredients definitions)

You will notice that your pet will lick their lips repeatedly after you spray or apply gel. This natural reaction helps coat your pet’s teeth and gums. If you have any questions about the safety of our product, please e-mail us at

Petzlife Products has specially formulated Grapefruit Seed Extract with other all natural herbs and ingredients to produce a very safe alternative to scaling. Testimonials we are receiving about our Oral Care products prove they really work and are doing much more than just cleaning the teeth !!! Order yours for your special pet today! Read Full


Spray, foam,  gel and a product to add to water along with fresh breath treats.

Can’t locate ingredients!

Vetzlife Oral Care Spray (2.2 oz.)

Purified water, grain alcohol, grapefruit seed extract, grape seed extract, proprietary blend of herbs and natural oils in a purified water gel.

Professional strength formula for veterinarian use with 100% natural ingredients that helps maintain healthy gums and teeth. A powerful combination of herbal extracts and essential oils defend against bacteria that cause gingivitis, plaque and tartar. Use according to your veterinarian’s directions.

Novartis Warns Of Wrong Tablets In Pet Medicine Clomicalm Bottles

1/31/2012 6:38 AM ET
(RTTNews) – It’s been only a few days since the consumer health division of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG (NVS: News ) temporarily suspended operations at Lincoln, Nebraska, production facility and recalled certain over-the-counter drugs – Bufferin, Excedrin, Gas-X Prevention and NoDoz, due to mix-up of products. Now, the animal health division of Novartis has warned that a wrong tablet may be found in bottles of Clomicalm, which is prescribed to treat behavioral disorders in dogs.


Latest News on Rabies Challege Fund


January 14, 20012

Senator Dan Brown,  Senator Brian Munzlinger

RE: SB 566 Bill Requiring Dogs and Cats to be Vaccinated Against Rabies

Greetings Senators Brown and Munzlinger:

The Rabies Challenge Fund supports passage of the proposed language in SB 566 which would amend Section A, Chapter 322 RSMo, Subsection 322.035 (5) to require that dogs and cats be immunized against rabies in accordance with the current recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian’s (NASPHV) Rabies Compendium. Also in accordance with the Rabies Compendium, we strongly urge the Committee to insert a rabies medical exemption clause into the language of this bill.

The Rabies Compendium directs thatAll vaccines must be administered in accordance with the specifications of the product label or package insert,” and rabies vaccine labels specify that they are for healthy animals. In addition to limiting its rabies vaccine for use in healthy animals, Pfizer’s Defensor 3 label cautions that: “[a] protective immune response may not be elicited if animals are incubating an infectious disease, are malnourished or parasitized, are stressed due to shipment or environmental conditions, are otherwise immunocompromised..”

The states of Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have medical exemption clauses for sick animals in their rabies immunization laws/regulations.

Immunologically, the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions such as polyneuropathy “resulting in muscular atrophy, inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ function, incoordination, and weakness,”[1] auto-immune hemolytic anemia,[2] thrombocytopenia, anorexia, regional lymphadenomegaly, cutaneous ischemic vasculopathy;[3] autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites are all linked to the rabies vaccine.[4] [5] It is medically unsound for this vaccine to be given to any animal deemed unhealthy by a veterinarian.

A medical exemption clause would allow Missouri veterinarians to write waivers for animals whose medical conditions (such as those with cancer, kidney/liver failure, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, grand mal seizures, and chronic autoimmune disorders) would be exacerbated by rabies vaccination. The State of Maine inserted such an exemption for dogs into their 3 year rabies protocol, 7 M.R.S.A., Sec. 3922(3), which became effective in April 2005, and not one rabid dog has been reported in the nearly 7 years since.

Maine’s exemption language is as follows:

A. A letter of exemption from vaccination may be submitted for licensure, if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog. Qualifying letters must be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the dog, and the medical reason that precludes vaccination. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter shall indicate a time of expiration of the exemption.

B. A dog exempted under the provisions of paragraph 5 A, above, shall be considered unvaccinated, for the purposes of 10-144 C.M.R. Ch.251, Section 7(B)(1), (Rules Governing Rabies Management) in the case of said dog’s exposure to a confirmed or suspect rabid animal.

Without a provision for medical exemptions in Section A, Chapter 322 RSMo, Missouri’s rabies immunization requirement would thrust an ethical quandary on veterinarians with seriously ill patients — they must either violate their Veterinarian’s Oath and administer a rabies vaccine contrary to sound medical practice and against the vaccine manufacturer’s labeled instructions, or recommend their clients break the law by not immunizing their unhealthy pets against rabies. Being compelled by law to vaccinate sick dogs and cats against rabies in order for their clients to comply with the statute also puts Missouri’s veterinarians at risk of being held liable for any adverse reactions the animals may suffer after administering a vaccine inconsistently with the labeled directions. Owners of critically ill dogs may choose not to comply with the law rather than jeopardize the lives of their pets and then fail to license their dogs to avoid detection.

On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust and Missouri pet owners, we urge you to insert a medical exemption clause in Senate Bill 566 and to vote that the bill ought to pass. You may contact me at the number below if you would like any scientific data on the rabies vaccine or if you have any questions.

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee

cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Missouri Legislature & Agriculture Committee

[1] Dodds, W. Jean Vaccination Protocols for Dogs Predisposed to Vaccine Reactions, The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, May/June 2001, Vol. 37, pp. 211-214

[2] Duval D., Giger U.Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 1996; 10:290-295

[3] American Animal Hospital Association, 2011 Canine Vaccination Guidelines, p. 20

[4] American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board, April 2001, Principles of Vaccination, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 219, No. 5, September 1, 2001.

[5] Vascelleri, M. Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas; Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A August 2003, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 286-291.

Rabies Challenge Fund
c/o Hemopet
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

What is Normal and What’s Not …Dogs

Normal Vital Signs: By knowing what’s normal in your dog, like body temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate, you can better tell if your pet needs medical care.

Body Temperature: Body temperature in animals is taken rectally. The normal body temperature for a dog is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your pet has a temperature less than 99 or over 104, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Mucous Membrane Color: The most commonly examined mucous membranes are the gums. The color of the gums is a good indicator of blood perfusion and oxygenation. The normal gum color is pink. If your pet has pigmented gums, lowering the eyelid can also give you an indicator of mucous membrane color. Pale, white, blue or yellow gums are cause for concern and you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Capillary Refill Time: Briefly apply pressure to the gums and release. The area should blanch and rapidly return to the normal pink color. This test is referred to as the capillary refill time and is a crude method of assessing circulation. Normal refill time is 1 to 2 seconds. If the refill time is less than 1 second or over 3 seconds, immediate veterinary care is recommended. To practice, you can do a quick capillary refill test on yourself. Press down on the tip of your fingernail. The pink skin underneath the nail will blanch. When you release the fingertip, the color rapidly returns to normal.

Heart Rate: You can feel your pet’s heartbeat on the left side of the chest at the area where a raised elbow will touch the chest. Your pet should be calm and quiet. Place your hand over this area of the chest and feel for a heartbeat. You can also use a stethoscope if you have one. Count the number of heartbeats for 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4. Be aware that a dog’s heartbeat will normally slow down and speed up with each breath. This is not an abnormal heart rhythm and does not require veterinary care.

If you cannot determine your pet’s heartbeat, you can try to determine the pulse rate. The easiest pulse to feel is the pulse associated with the femoral artery, which is best felt inside the back leg in the groin area. Place your first two fingers up high on the inside of your pet’s thigh. Slowly feel the area until you can detect a pulse. This method may take some practice and you may want to ask your veterinarian for guidance during a routine exam.

For dogs, a normal heartbeat varies on size: · Small dogs and puppies normally have heart rates of 120 to 160 beats per minute. · Dogs over 30 pounds have heart rates of 60 to 120. The larger the dog, the slower the normal heart rate.

If your pet has a heart rate outside the normal range, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Respiratory Rate: Counting the number of breaths per minute and determining the breathing pattern can be very important in an emergency. Learn the normal breathing rate and pattern for your pet.

Count the number of breaths your pet takes in one minute. Avoid counting when your pet is panting. A good time to count the normal breathing rate is when your pet is asleep.

Normal respiratory rates:

· For dogs: 10 to 30 breaths per minute. Dogs can also pant normally up to 200 pants per minute.

Determining the breathing pattern is also important. In a normal breath, the chest expands as the breath enters the chest. The chest then sinks as the breath leaves the chest. Exhalation requires no effort. If you notice your pet using his abdominal muscles to breath, gasping, making loud noises, taking shallow breaths, panting excessively or exhalation seems to be difficult, consult your veterinarian immediately. If you are unsure if your pet is breathing, place a cotton ball or tissue immediately in front of the nose and mouth. If you see movement of the cotton or tissue, your pet is still breathing. Another method is to use a mirror. Place the mirror in front of the pet’s mouth and nose. If you see condensation on the mirror, your pet is still breathing.

Hydration: Lift the skin on the back of the dogs neck, release quickly. The skin should spring back into place. If the skin remains up or is slow to go back down, your dog is dehydrated. Another method of checking for dehydration is to touch the dogs gums. If the dogs gums a slick – normal. If the dogs gums are sticky – moderately to severe dehydration. If the gums are dry – Critical dehydration.


** Baseline Chart: You should keep a baseline chart of what is normal for your dog for easy comparison.

Dog owners, who recognize the early signs and symptoms of illness or pain in their dogs, will not only relieve their loved one’s suffering but may also be able to save themselves an expensive trip to the veterinarian. Not only is it important to recognize these signs early to relieve pain and suffering, but it is much more effective to treat an illness when it is detected early.

The dog owner should keep an accurate and detailed account of their dog’s symptoms to help the veterinarian correctly diagnose and effectively treat the dog’s illness or condition. Most canine illnesses are detected through a combination of various signs and symptoms:

Temperature, Respiratory Rate and Heart Rate
A newborn puppy will have a temperature of 94-97º F. which will eventually reach the normal adult body temperature of 101.5º F. at the age of 4 weeks old. Take care when trying to take your dog or puppies temperature as the thermometer can easily be broken off in the canine’s rectum. Also any form of excitement can cause the temperature to rise by 2-3º when the dog is actually in normal health. If your dog’s temperature reaches 105º or above OR 96º or below please take him/her to the emergency vet immediately!

An adult dog will have a respiratory rate of 15-20 breaths per minute (depending on such variables as size and weight) and a heart rate of 80-120 beats per minute. You can feel for your dog’s heartbeat by placing your hand on his/her lower ribcage just behind the elbow. Don’t be alarmed if the heartbeat seems irregular compared to a human’s heartbeat, it is irregular in many dogs. Have your vet check it out and get used to how it feels when it is normal.

Behavior Changes
Any behavior changes that are not associated with a change in the household atmosphere, such as jealousy over a new pet or child may be an indication of an illness. Signs of behavioral changes may be:
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• Sleepiness
• Trembling
• Falling/Stumbling

If your dog shows any of these signs, he/she needs to be kept under close watch for a few hours, or even a few days, until positive signs develop or he/she has returned to normal. Do not try to exercise the dog or put him/her in any situation that may cause stress. Most veterinarians will want for you to keep track of when the symptoms first appeared, whether they are getting better or worse, and also whether the symptoms are intermittent, continuous, or increasing in frequency.

Dogs that are in pain will likely indicate that they are suffering by giving you clues as to where the area of discomfort is. For instance, a dog that has abdominal pain will continually glance toward their belly, bite or lick the area, and will not want to leave his/her bed. The dog may stand hunched over, or take the ‘prayer position’ which is when a dog gets down on it’s forelegs with the hind legs still standing, because of the pain in her abdomen area.

Dogs can not tell you that they are hurting or cry real tears but a dog may vocalize their pain in a different way. A dog that is hurt suddenly (such as being stepped on) will cry out or whimper in pain. This also happens when an external injury or internal injury (such as an organ) is touched. Whining or vocalization that is unprovoked may be caused from an internal injury as well. Some breeds of dogs (such as the American Pit Bull Terrier) have a higher pain threshold and need to be watched more closely for signs of pain. Breeds with a high pain tolerance are more likely to endure the pain without vocalization.

Another clue to pain is a change in temperament. A dog that is in pain may show signs of aggression. Please take note of this before concluding that a dog has become vicious and let your veterinarian know so that the correct treatment can be administered. Also females in general (even humans!) have days when they are just in a bad mood for no obvious reason. Take note of days of times that these mood swings occur as well as any events that might have triggered them.

Other signs that your dog may be sick: • Ears: discharge, debris, odor, scratching, crusted tips, twitching or shaking.

• Eyes: redness, swelling or discharge.

• Nose: runny, thickened or colored discharge, crusty.

• Coughing, sneezing, vomiting or gagging.

• Shortness of breath, irregular breathing or prolonged/heavy panting

• Evidence of parasites in the dog’s stool, strange color, blood in the stool, or lack of a bowel movement (constipation).

• Loss of appetite or not drinking as much water as normally would.

• Weight Loss.

• Strange color of urine, small amount of urine, straining, dribbling, or not going as frequently as normal.

• Bad odor coming from mouth, ears, or skin.

• Hair loss, wounds, tumors, dander or change of the skin’s color.

• Biting of the skin, parasites, scratching or licking the skin frequently

Triage (Assessment of Priorities)

Assessing the animals vital signs are just part of First Aid. Knowing what the priorities are of treatment is just as important.

Before any treatment can be done, insure that you and the injured/sick animal are in a position of safety before beginning. You cannot treat an animal in a location where further injury or harm is imminent. Using a makeshift stretcher, a blanket or board, move the animal to a safe location, then begin treatment.

Top TEN Priorities

  1. Stopped breathing, no pulse
  2. Stopped breathing, with pulse
  3. Loss of Consciousness Open airways
  4. Shock, pale gums, rapid breathing, weak, rapid pulse, cold skin
  5. Difficulty breathing
  6. Chest puncture or gaping wound
  7. Severe bleeding
  8. Abdominal puncture or gaping wound
  9. Extremes of body temperature – too hot or too cold.
  10. Poisoning, stings; toxins or snakebite.

Pet CPR -Written Instructions

It’s not a scenario you want to imagine: finding your dog unconscious on your living room floor or your cat hit by a car. Finding your pet not breathing or with his heart not beating can be a terrifying experience, but there are things you can do. The most important step you can take is staying calm. If there’s another person with you, have her call your veterinarian while you perform CPR.

Step 1: Check for responsiveness

Before you begin doing anything to your pet, make sure he is truly unresponsive.

  • Check his breathing by placing your hand in front of his nose and mouth. (Be sure not to cover them and block his airway!)
  • Check for his heartbeat by placing your ear against area where your pet’s left elbow touches the chest.

Step 2: Secure an airway

If you don’t see or feel your pet breathing, you immediately need to make sure his airway is clear.

  • Carefully pull his tongue forward out of his mouth. (Even an unresponsive animal can bite by instinct.)
  • Look into the throat for a foreign object. If you find one, remove it carefully. (See Pet First Aid for instructions on responding to choking in pets.)
  • Move the head until the neck is straight. (Don’t move the neck if you suspect it is injured.)

Step 3: Rescue breathing

  • Close your pet’s mouth and breathe directly into his nose not his mouth until his chest expands.
  • If the chest doesn’t expand, check again for a foreign object in the throat and reposition the airway so it is straight.
  • Once you’ve gotten the chest to expand, continue the rescue breathing, repeating the breaths 12 to 15 times per minute (once every four to five seconds).

Step 4: Chest compressions

Do not begin chest compressions until you’ve secured an airway and started rescue breathing.

  • Gently lay your pet on his right side.
  • The heart is located in the lower half of the chest on the left side, behind the elbow of the front left leg. Place one hand below the heart to support the chest; place the other hand over the heart.
  • Press down gently on your pet’s heart. Press down about one inch for medium-sized dogs; press harder for larger animals and with less force for smaller animals. To massage the hearts of cats and other tiny pets, compress the chest with the thumb and forefingers of one hand.
  • Press down 80-120 times per minute for larger animals and 100-150 times per minute for smaller ones.
  • Alternate the chest compressions with the rescue breaths.

Continue the heart massage compressions and the rescue breathing until you can hear a heartbeat and feel regular breathing. Once your pet is breathing and his heart is beating, call your veterinarian immediately.

Unfortunately, even in the hands of well-trained veterinary health professionals, the overall chance for success with resuscitation is low. In an emergency, however, it may give your pet his only chance.

Note: All content provided on, is meant for educational purposes only on health care and medical issues that may affect pets and should never be used to replace professional veterinary care from a licensed veterinarian. This site and its services do not constitute the practice of any veterinary medical health care advice, diagnosis or treatment.