Does Your Dog Have Distemper? Here’s How Chest Thumping Can Save Their Life!
Chest Thumping? Really?
While the title may seem a bit clickbait-y and completely untrue, it’s honestly anything but. Chest thumping is an actual thing and for years, it’s been used to aid in the treatment of dogs with Distemper. It’s nothing like what Tarzan does to his chest, though—goodness! The thumping is done in a firm but gentle fashion and doesn’t hurt dogs one bit. Medically, this technique is called coupage.
Coupage, also known as thoracic percussion therapy, is a medical technique used to help loosen and expel mucus from the lungs. It involves striking the chest gently but firmly with one or two cupped hands to clear out hardened secretions in the airways, making it easier for dogs to cough them out. Normally, it’s done by veterinarians but dog owners can also do it at home.
If you’re interested to know how to perform coupage on your dog, then your veterinarian can teach you the proper way to do it. At home, it’s best to get your dog up on an elevated platform and make them lie on their back to make things easier for you. If your dog is of a large breed, then you may need to use both hands. However, for small dogs, one hand is usually enough.
How Exactly Is Coupage Done?
While your pup is on their back, cup your hand (or hands) and pat the sides of their chest one at a time. When patting, make sure that your hands never flatten against their body; there should always be a hollow space between your cupped hands and your dog’s chest.
Once you start, slowly work your way around your dog’s entire chest area. Do this for not more than five minutes. As a final step, let your furry friend get up and walk around a bit. Moving can promote coughing and help push out loosened mucus.
Pay Attention to Your Pooch
Throughout the process, pay close attention to your dog’s reactions and look for signs of pain or discomfort. Coupage shouldn’t be painful, so if your dog is starting to show signs of distress, take a step back and assess the situation. Maybe you’re using too much force, or hitting a sore spot. If your dog has a wound, an injury, or a fracture in the coupage area, then it’s best to talk to your veterinarian about other ways to alleviate their respiratory congestion.
When Is Coupage Done?
Since the main purpose of coupage is to loosen and clear out mucus in the lungs, it’s often used in dogs that have respiratory issues that lead to airway congestion, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. If left untreated, these conditions can prevent oxygen from reaching the airways and cause breathing difficulties. If a veterinarian isn’t around, knowing how to perform coupage on your dog when needed can very well safe their life.
How Does Coupage Help Dogs with Distemper?
One of the most common secondary illnesses that develop in dogs with Distemper is pneumonia, which is why coupage is usually a part of Distemper treatment. Normally done in combination with oxygen therapy and nebulization, coupage greatly increases the chances of a dog recovering from both conditions.