Dog Saves a Life
Mary Jo Heidenreich was eating dinner when she felt something lodge in her throat. She began to choke and her dog came to the rescue. Her 4-year-old Shih Tzu, Chewie, jumped on her chest. "He went to jump up in my lap, he hit right below my rib cage," she said. "He wanted to comfort me." Heidenreich, 45, said, at that point, a small piece of tooth came out of her throat.
Heidenreich is convinced 15-pound Chewie saved her life by jumping on her chest. Dr. Robert Kahn says Chewie could have landed in the right spot, but it was probably his owner's reaction that ended her choking spell.
A Heimlich maneuver is used to dislodge a piece of food, typically between the size of a nickel and a quarter, stuck in the esophagus, Dr. Kahn said. The piece of tooth might have been lodged in Heidenreich's posterior pharynx, and that caused her to choke, he added. The pressure of the dog's paws, along with her startled reaction, was probably enough to dislodge the tooth piece, he said.