A K-9 officer in West Hartford, Conn., saved a 10-year-old Shih-Tzu from choking by performing a modified, dog-friendly version of the Heimlich maneuver Monday, Patch reports.
With no animal control officer available, officer Tom Lazure — who’s trained in basic canine first aid — was called to the scene. When he arrived, the dog’s frantic owners explained he’d gagged on a piece of rawhide and wasn’t breathing. Lazure pressed on the Shih-Tzu’s chest, loosening the lodged rawhide and allowing the police officer to remove it. The dog, named Harry, resumed breathing shortly thereafter.
If Lazure hadn’t arrived in time, the outcome could have been much different. Pet owners have witnessed the deaths of their furry friends when unable to respond properly — or when help didn’t arrive in time. Oprah, for instance, lost her dog after the 2-year-old Golden Retriever choked on a plastic ball. Other panicked pet owners have experienced similar tragedies, largely caused by toys, food and household items.
But after the opportune rescue and a visit to the veterinarian, Harry was reportedly in good health by Tuesday.