How Long Does Shock Last In A Dog – Symptoms And Treatment

how long does shock last in a dog

Dogs are curious creatures. This can sometimes lead to them getting injured. You might be curious how long does shock last in a dog. Shock can be deadly if not treated, so it’s important to know how long it lasts and what symptoms to look for.

In this blog post, we will discuss how shock occurs in dogs, how to treat it, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What Exactly Is Shock, And Why Does It Happen?

Septic shock happens when the tissues of the body don’t get enough oxygen. This is usually caused by a drop in the dog’s blood volume or blood pressure drops dramatically.

When your dog is experiencing septic shock. This means that tissues and organs, like the heart and brain, have a hard time getting enough oxygen which may result in organ failure when not treated promptly.

grey blue skin colour mucous membranes

The body responds by cutting off blood flow to the skin resulting in grey blue skin colour. It speeds up the heart as it tries to get blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. Also it takes it away from the gut to give priority to vital organs. This makes the animal feel sick, have rapid breathing and thirst which can cause it to pass out.

A big drop in blood pressure can cause body trauma and hypovolemic shock, which is very bad.

Different Types Of Dog Shock That Dog Owners Must Know

Hypovolemic Shock:

Hypovolemic shock is a common issue in emergency care for small animals. It happens when the amount of it in circulation goes down, which lowers the output of the heart and makes it harder for oxygen to get to the tissues. It can be caused by an injury, internal bleeding, or dehydration.

Hypovolemic shock is life-threatening right away if it is not treated. Also, treatment that is too slow or not good enough can cause problems in the future. The emergency doctor or nurse should quickly use physical examination parameters to check all emergency patients for hypovolemic shock.

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Cardiogenic Shock:

Cardiogenic shock, also called cardiac shock, happens when your heart can’t pump blood and oxygen to your brain and other vital organs. This is an emergency that could kill someone. It can be treated if caught early, so it’s important to know what to look for.

It can be caused by a heart attack, arrhythmia, or congestive heart failure.

Neurogenic Shock:

This type of shock is caused by a nervous system injury and is the least common type in dogs.

Neurogenic shock is a type of distributive shock that is a bit different. Massive sympathetic release causes severe systemic vasoconstriction, which reduces forward flow and shows signs of shock even though there is enough blood in the body.

It happens when the blood vessels don’t work right and don’t move enough blood through the body. You don’t lose blood, but the blood doesn’t flow the way it should. Your blood vessels fill up with blood, and your blood pressure drops a lot. It can be caused by spinal cord damage, head trauma, or seizures.

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Extreme Temperature-Related Shock:

Heatstroke is a type of shock that can happen when your dog’s body temperature gets too high. It is an emergency, and it can be deadly if not treated right away. The symptoms of heatstroke are panting, drooling, lethargy, and vomiting. If your dog has any of these symptoms, get them to a cool place and call your vet immediately.

Cold-related shock happens when your dog’s body temperature gets too low. It is also an emergency, and it can be deadly if not treated right away. The symptoms of cold-related shock are shivering, weakness, lethargy, and confusion. If your dog has any of these symptoms, get them to a warm place and call your vet right away

Anaphylactic Shock

It’s also called anaphylaxis, and it happens when a dog’s immune system overreacts to an allergen. It may even be caused by genes or family history. When an allergen is in the body, it causes the immune system to overreact, which causes histamines to be released.

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Shock Symptoms

If your dog has been in an accident or has suffered a traumatic injury, he may be in shock. Shock is a medical condition that occurs when the body’s blood flow is inadequate to meet the body’s needs. It is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary care.

Early Stages Signs

The gums will look bright red. You will feel a fast heartbeat. (To check your dog’s pulse, put the tips of two fingers inside the thigh on the groin, near the femoral artery).

Your dog may start to act nervous or uneasy. They will start to breathe more shallowly.

At this point, it’s still easy to find the pulse – a quick pulse. You’ll notice that your dog will have pale, clammy skin, and will feel cold.

weak pulse low blood volume

As The Shock Worsens:

  • Skin color is grey-blue, with a blue tinge to the mucous membranes (i.e. they are cyanosed)
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Thirst
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

As The Brain Fights For Oxygen:

  • Could become agitated and possibly aggressive
  • Yawning and panting for breath
  • They will eventually lose consciousness and become unresponsive.
  • They will eventually stop breathing.

Shock Management

underlying cause intestinal systems

Contact The Veterinarian As Soon As Possible.

If you think your dog is in shock, the first thing you should do is call your veterinarian. If possible, have someone else drive while you focus on your dog.

Be prepared to give the following information:

  • Your dog’s age, breed, and how much he weighs
  • What happened (e.g., hit by a car, fell off a cliff)
  • Any visible injuries
  • Your dog’s vital signs, if possible (e.g., heart rate, respiratory rate)

If your veterinarian is not available, take your dog to the nearest animal hospital or medical emergency clinic.

Check The Dog For Signs Of Shock.

Lift the dog’s upper lip gently so you can see the gum and check it. If the dog’s gums are pale or white, it is probably in shock and may have serious internal injuries or bleeding. If the dog’s gums are pink, it’s likely not scared.

Check how fast the dog’s heart is beating. Put your fingers on the dog firmly about 2 inches behind the dog’s elbow, in the middle of its chest. Count how many beats there are in 10 seconds and multiply that number by 6. If the dog is in shock, its heart rate may be more than 150 beats per minute.

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Place The Dog On Its Side With Its Head Extended.

  • If your dog is unconscious, place it on its side with its head and neck extended. Remove the collar. This will help ensure that the airway is open and clear so the dog can breathe. If the dog is vomiting, turn its head to the side so it doesn’t choke on its vomit.
  • Do not try to force anything into the dog’s mouth, as this could cause the dog to choke.
  • Never put pillow under the dog’s head, as this could block its airway.
  • Prevent your dog from eating, as this could make its condition worse.
  • If you are able to feel a pulse in the dog’s neck, check it frequently and record how many times it beats in one minute.
  • If the dog is unconscious and you cannot feel a pulse, begin CPR immediately and continue until help arrives or the dog begins to breathe on its own.

Stop Any Bleeding You Can See Right Away.

If the wound is on the leg or tail and there is a lot of blood then use a clean cloth, a sterile bandage, or a sanitary napkin to cover the wound causing blood clotting.

Press on the bandage to stop the bleeding. DO NOT take off the bandage if blood gets through it. Put on more dressing and apply pressure on the wound until the bleeding stops. If the dog is bleeding for more than 5 minutes, keep putting pressure on the wound while taking the dog to the vet.

Cover completely ripped dirty clothes or even other soft cloth all around dressing and tie or tape it just tight enough to keep the bandage on. Wrap the wound from the bottom up. Calm your dog inorder to conserve his precious energy.

rapid pulse first sign first aid

Keep Them Warm By Covering Them With A Folded Blanket.

Whenever an animal is cold, anxious, or in pain, it suffers from shock. You should stay as normal as possible. Reassuring them and keeping them warm can go a long way

Remain Normal As Much As Possible

Try to keep the dog as quiet as you can. Talk softly to your puppy and reassure it in a calm way.

Keep in mind that your dog picks up on how you feel, so try to stay calm yourself. If you can’t get to a vet in person, you can call one. They can tell you what to do in a more specific way.

Get Your Dog To The Vet Right Away!

If you can’t get to a vet in person, you can call one. You need to have veterinary advice for your dog. They can tell you what to do in a more specific way.

Appropriate Treatment For Most Common Dogs In Shock Situations?

how long does shock last in a dog

Loss Of Blood.

If it is an external bleeding from a cut pad or paw, use a bandage or piece of clothing that will soak up the blood and prevent continuous blood loss. If the bleeding keeps going and the blood pressure and blood volume is decreasing, you need to get to your vet right away because this is a medical emergency.

Most wounds that are bleeding, especially those caused by serious injury will need medical or surgical care. These kinds of wounds can be lethal and have a higher chance of increased internal bleeding.

Most wounds can be sutured if they are taken care of within four hours. Deep cuts that are treated after four hours are more likely to get infected or cause other problems, and they need more extensive surgery.

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As soon as possible, use cold water to cool the burned area. Wet towels should be placed over the burn. If the wound is caused by something acidic, rinse it with cold water for 15 minutes and call your vet for more help. Animals that have been exposed to heat or smoke from a fire should be given water as soon as the situation is safe.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are always very painful and can make it hard to see. If you can see a grass awn, stick, hair, or other foreign body, you might be able to get rid of it by gently rinsing your eye with antiseptic spray or corrective lenses saline solution (be sure to check that there are no other ingredients and it is ONLY saline solution).

Don’t let the dog rub its eye with its paws or against furniture or the floor. Get advice from a vet as soon as you can.


first signs rapid pulse heart rate

There are many things that can cause seizures. These include epilepsy, eclampsia (milk fever in a nursing mother), and toxicities. If the mother has eclampsia, the puppies should be taken away from her right away.

All dogs who are having a seizure or have just had one should be kept in a dark, quiet, confined area until they can get medical help. Do not put your hand in your dog’s mouth; it won’t swallow its tongue, but it will bite you. Get in touch with your vet right away.

Heat Stroke.

Most of the time, this happens when dogs are left in hot cars without enough air flow. The body’s temperature goes up a lot. Early symptoms include a lot of panting and clear signs of distress, but they can quickly lead to coma and death.

Use cool water to bring the pet’s temperature down as quickly as possible, and keep the dog wet while taking it to the vet. Keep the car windows open, because the water vapor will help cool you down.

Don’t use ice or ice water because it could cause the temperature to drop too quickly and cause more problems. You can do fluid therapy to bring your dog’s body heat down and to bring back excessive fluid loss due to dehydration.

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Insect Stings

“Dogs that swell up in the face, itch a lot, get hives, throw up, have diarrhea, or collapse after being stung by a bee could be allergic to bee stings,” says Dr. Rutter. Other signs include stumbling, pale gums, and a swollen larynx that makes it hard to breathe.

When a dog is shock like in this case the first aid should be to mix baking soda and water into a thick paste and put it on the sting. A soothing oatmeal bath is the way to go if your dog has been stung or bitten more than once. Minimize swelling. For 10 minutes, put an ice pack on the area to reduce swelling.

Most dogs should feel better in 12 to 24 hours after being stung by a bee. If new symptoms show up during that time, you should call your vet right away.

Some pets need to stay in the hospital and be driven a lot. If a dog is allergic to bee stings, the next time it gets stung, it might have a stronger reaction.

blue tinge blood work shock

How To Do CPR For Dog In Shock

  1. Make sure you aren’t bleeding a lot. If your dog is losing more blood it’s blood levels will decrease and so will his blood pressure. Have someone else stop the bleeding (see below) while you do CPR.
  2. Lay the dog on his right side if you can.
  3. Check for a heartbeat or a pulse in the groin. The femoral pulse is found in the groin area of the leg. Dogs don’t have a neck pulse that is easy to feel.
  4. Bend the left arm at the elbow and make a note of where the elbow touches the chest. This is right about where the middle of the rib cage is.
  5. Put one hand on each side of your chest in the middle of your rib cage, and squeeze your chest hard 100 to 120 times per minute. For small dogs (under 10 pounds), use one hand to squeeze the chest from both sides by putting your fingers on one side and your thumb on the other side. About 30 compressions should be done for every two breaths.
  6. Try to squeeze at least 30–50% of the chest wall. This is about 1″ (2 cm) for small dogs and 2-3″ (5-8 cm) for larger dogs.
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