Champ, a Labrador mix, has been a US Customs and Border Protection K-9 Officer at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for more than seven years. His shining moment was when he uncovered 700 pounds of cocaine hidden on a flight from Mexico.
Last month, Champ’s partner, Officer Marvin Slocum, saw that something was wrong when Champ was choking and pawing at his mouth. He was choking on several cicadas. Slocum flipped Champ over and performed the Heimlich maneuver on the 8-year-old dog but that didn’t work. He then tried to stick his hand down his throat but that also wasn’t successful.
Slocum then brought Champ to the airport’s rescue station. By that time, the dog’s tongue was blue and the whites of his eyes were changing color. The paramedics tried to insert a tube down Champ’s throat but he kept on biting it. Then one paramedic used forceps to remove the blockage — mucus and bugs.
From Chicago Tribune:
The paramedics took out the big cicadas one after another. When the blockage was cleared, they were able to insert the tube. Champ started to become his normal color again, and he was rushed to the animal hospital.
Champ is doing well now and is back on the job. The only signs of his choking incident is the lack of fur on his legs because they were shaved to insert the IVs.
The paramedics that saved Champ received unit awards, and they are so thankful to see Champ running around again.
Hopefully Champ won’t be chewing on cicadas again especially since these insects only appear every 17 years.