Proper CPR Guidelines for Dogs and Cats

Less than 6 percent of dogs and cats that experience cardiopulmonary arrest in the hospital survive to discharge, while the survival rate is about 20 percent for humans that experience in-hospital cardiac arrest.

To improve outcomes in dogs and cats, the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society established the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation initiative. In June, the RECOVER initiative released evidence-based guidelines for cardiopulmonary resuscitation in dogs and cats.

The initiative included a survey of more than 600 practitioners asking how they treated dogs and cats in cardiac arrest.

“What we found was that there was really no consensus on how to do that best,” said initiative co-chair Dr. Manuel Boller of the University of Pennsylvania. “There may have been a cohort, for example, that recommended 60 to 80 compressions per minute and another that thought 120 to 150 compressions per minute was the right thing.”