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First Aid : Dog Shock


The signs of shock in dogs are:

Confusion; pale (possibly even white) mucous membranes – gums, lips, under eyelids; rapid noisy breathing; rapid heartbeat with a weak pulse; coolness of skin, legs and ears; weakness; collapse, coma or unconsciousness; staring eyes and dilated pupils, severe depression or listlessness; vomiting

If any or all of these signs occur after an accident or prolonged illness, treat for shock and call the veterinarian immediately.

Keep airways open, giving artificial respiration or heart massage as necessary, bandage or splint any fracture or extensive wound.

Wrap your dog in a thick cloth or towel to conserve body heat. If the dog is unconscious, keep its head as low as, or lower than, the rest of the body. Gently massage legs and muscles to maintain circulation unless you suspect that they may be fractured or broken.

If your dog is conscious and restless, keep him horizontal and well wrapped up.

Get him to the veterinarian immediately if possible. Time is vital, especially for the intravenous introduction of fluid in severe cases.

lf you absolutely can’t get immediate veterinary help – either at all or for a few hours – give fluids orally if he is conscious. Administer an amount (depending on dog’s size) of tepid water mixed with glucose every 30 minutes for 4 or 5 doses.

Never give anything by mouth if the dog is unconscious, convulsing or vomiting. Take pulse and breathing rate every 30 minutes and record them. Take note of any blood in urine, vomiting, etc., and report these details to the vet.

Shock can occur with an acute loss of blood volume such as hemorrhage, heart failure and other causes of decreased circulation (e.g. severe and sudden allergic reaction and heat stroke). If not treated quickly and effectively shock may cause irreversible injury to body cells, and it can be rapidly fatal.

Seek veterinary attention immediately!

Related Pages

Dog first aid essential advice on first aid for dogs

Dog first aid kit – essential first aid items


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