Shock in dogs can and does occur and it is a life threatening situation for your pet.
If your dog suddenly has a very difficult time in breathing, and their respiration rate becomes very shallow or deep, your dog is going into shock.
They will also feel cold when you touch them and their eyes will become glazed in appearance.
There are several things that you can do, but there is definitely one thing that your do not want to do; wait.
The last thing you want to do is to wait and seek medical attention.
There are several injuries as well as illnesses that can cause shock in dogs, and most of these can cause damage in literally minutes that can never be repaired.
Every minute that you hesitate to react may be the difference of your dog fully recovering or them not making it to the next day.
Shock in dogs is a situation where your pet has lost most of their effective circulation, and as a result, there is a very sudden loss of an adequate supply of oxygen to their tissues.
It can also result in the inability of your dog’s tissues to use oxygen properly. The actual term shock may vary in definition among medical experts.
It is constantly being debated but however you define it, it is a medical emergency.
Your dog must have an adequate blood flow in order to keep their heart pumping as well as open and to fully operate all of the blood vessels.
They also need enough oxygenation to keep their respiratory system open and with enough energy to breath.
If shock does occur, your dog’s cardiovascular system will try to compensate for the loss of oxygen and blood flow by increasing the heart and respiratory rates.
Shock in dogs will also constrict your dog’s skin blood vessels and try to maintain enough fluid in the circulation by almost instantly reducing any urinary output.
However, all of this requires extra energy at the same time that your dog’s vital organs are not receiving enough oxygen to perform it normal tasks.
After a certain amount of time that varies in each individual dog, if treatment is not administered, it will become self-destructive and will result in the death of your dog.
The most common causes of shock in dogs are the result of some type of trauma that has just occurred.
This can include a fight with another dog or even a large cat if your dog is small, as well as being hit by a car or some type of a blunt instrument.
However, there are also several other potential causes.
It may be the result of a poison, an insect sting that is severe or multiple, or the loss of fluids from severe vomiting or diarrhea.
It may also be the result of anaphylactic or allergic reaction to something such as a medication or injection, some type of a severe burn, or the lack of oxygen caused by a heart failure.
It may also be caused by choking or an obstruction of their airways. But again, regardless of the cause, it is a life threatening situation.
Shock in dogs will show several symptoms that will include both early as well as late signs that your pet is going into shock.
The first of the early signs will be where your dog becomes extremely excited or just the complete opposite, extremely subdued.
However neither will may have an apparent reason unless it is a trauma that you have witnessed.
They will also be in the early stages of developing a rapid heartbeat, and if you feel their pulse, it will still be very viable but rapid.
But once the shock in dogs starts to really take hold, everything changes very rapidly.
Their pulse will now start to become very weak and it will be almost impossible to even detect a pulse.
By now their gums are becoming extremely pale and will be in the process of turning blue.
They will also feel cold to the touch as their temperature will be well below normal.
Normal is between 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 to 38 degrees Celsius.
Their respiration rate by now will also be either very slow or very rapid, and their breathing will be shallow or very deep.
They will also not be able to focus their eyes and they will appear to be almost totally glazed over.
When you see these symptoms and identify it as shock in dogs, there are several things that you can do immediately.
However there are also several things that you should not do as they could make the situation much worse.
At this point your dog’s life is in your hands, and if you know how to perform CPR and your dog is not breathing properly, you will need to utilize this skill as soon as possible.
If they are bleeding, you will need to stop it as well as soon as quickly as you can.
If you have a muzzle, grab it immediately. This will help in preventing your dog from biting you; but be very careful that it does not interfere with their breathing.
You will also want to prevent your dog from losing any more of their body heat and you will need to a cover them with a blanket and leave them covered when you take them into emergency treatment.
However, as important as these measures are, there are also things that you should absolutely not do.
Do not pour any type of a liquid, including water, into your dog’s mouth as at this stage they are very weak and they may inhale any liquid into their lungs, which is extremely dangerous.
Do not give them any medications at all unless you have been specifically instructed to do so by the emergency veterinarian. Do not try to make your dog walk.
If they are a large breed and you need help, call someone to help you.
They may be bleeding internally, and any attempt to make them walk or even jump into the car will only cause greater damage.
There are however, two things that you absolutely must not do in any circumstance.
Do not assume your dog is not in shock.
If you see any of the symptoms, assume the worst, and by all means, do not hesitate in seeking treatment.
Literally every minute you wait may be risking your dog’s life.
Shock in dogs is a life threatening situation. In rare cases you may have witnessed the trauma, but in most cases you may have no idea what the cause is.
Understanding the symptoms, and then doing what you can do and avoiding what not to do, may make the difference between life and death in your dog.