Resuscitation of animal

Control Measure Knowledge

It is possible to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on animals. There are various sources of information about CPR for animals, including the Blue Cross website:

To protect personnel, other emergency responders and the public, the animal should be appropriately restrained prior to providing CPR or oxygen therapy. Personnel resuscitating the animal should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

If fire and rescue services decide that they will resuscitate animals as part of their incident response, this should be supported by appropriate risk assessments, procedures and training in the use of equipment.

Oxygen therapy

Some fire and rescue services have been donated oxygen therapy masks for companion animals by the Smokey Paws charity. The set of masks should be suitable for companion animals, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs.

If Smokey Paws oxygen therapy masks are unavailable or are unsuitable for the animal, oxygen therapy can be provided using masks designed for people.

Clinically, oxygen therapy is recommended for all unconscious animals, those having suffered smoke inhalation, other respiratory distress or trauma.

Operationally, oxygen therapy should only be administered following an assessment of animal, environmental and situational risks, with the appropriate control measures applied.

Oxygen therapy should be administered by personnel who are trained in its use, with associated clinical governance, and have access to medical oxygen cylinders as part of their role.

BARTA has published advice and informative videos, in collaboration with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) Animal Rescue Practitioners Forum and the RSPCA; these are available from the BARTA website: Using Smokey Paws Oxygen Therapy Kits.

Post-resuscitation care

BARTA recommends that all animals receive definitive veterinary care as soon as practicable following unconsciousness, smoke inhalation, respiratory distress and trauma. The fire and rescue service should place the animal into the care of the owner, a suitable person, a veterinary surgeon or an animal care specialist at the earliest opportunity, with this recommendation.

Strategic Actions

Tactical Actions