For Your Pet – Signs of Shock, Causes and What You Can Do
In pets, like in people, shock left untreated can kill. Shock is a serious, life-threatening medical condition where insufficient blood flow reaches the body tissues. As the blood carries oxygen and nutrients around the body, reduced flow hinders the delivery of these components to the tissues, and can stop the tissues from functioning properly which can lead to death.
In pets, again as in people, shock is usually caused by some kind of trauma, one of the most common is when a dog or cat is hit by a car or any kind of accident which could cause trauma of this nature. Some severe illnesses also present shock.
Often, while the injuries themselves may be treatable, the shock to the body’s systems, if left untreated, may overwhelm the body and cause collapse and death.
Do you know the signs of shock in a pet and what to do??
This is a life-threatening condition, which occurs as a result of a serious injury or illness. It can progress to collapse and death.
PALE OR WHITE GUMS – Examine the gums by gently lifting the upper lid to expose the gums. Sometimes the gums are pigmented so look right around the mouth. Dogs, such as the Chow, are impossible to assess as they have naturally pigmented gums. If the gums are pale or white your pet needs urgent veterinary attention.
RAPID HEART RATE AND WEAK RAPID PULSE – The heart rate often exceeds 150 beats/minute.
RAPID BREATHING – Your pet may appear woozy and weak. They often have difficulty standing.
Shock occurs when there is a collapse of the circulatory system (made up of the heart, blood vessels and blood) due to:
BLOOD LOSS – Bleeding can be external or internal. Blood can be lost into the chest between the ribs and the lungs, into the abdomen around the organs or into the organs themselves, such as the bladder. There may be no obvious signs that bleeding has occurred. The volume of blood in the vessels then becomes insufficient for the body’s needs.
FLUID LOSS – Fluids lost to the body through, for example, vomiting and diarrhea are drawn from the entire body including the blood, causing dehydration and loss of blood volume. Most Parvovirus cases present in shock.
DECREASED BLOOD PRESSURE – This may be brought about due to pain, spinal cord injury, infection or poisoning.
TO THE VET ASAP – Any sign of shock requires urgent veterinary care with IV Fluids. Apply some of the following solutions while you transport your pet to the vet.
ASSESS SEVERITY – Check breathing and heartbeat. If you can see the chest rise and fall then she is breathing. If not, perform rescue breathing. Wrap your hands around your pet’s muzzle (their mouth is closed), and breath into their nose. The chest should rise. Give 15 breaths per minute (one every
4 seconds). If the chest doesn’t rise, then proceed to the Heimlich.
CPR – The next step is to feel for a heartbeat by placing your hand behind the left elbow on the chest. If the heart has stopped, then begin CPR. Perform 5 heart compressions and 1 rescue breath. You should be giving 80-100 compressions per minute.
STOP THE BLEEDING – Apply direct pressure to any open wound your pet may have. Use whatever is available: gauze, soft cloth, or a towel. Don’t remove the cloth if it soaks through; apply another on top and continue the pressure.
KEEP HIM WARM – Hot water bottles filled with warm water can be placed around your pet especially against the stomach. Do not use boiling water. Wrap the bottles up in towels to prevent burns. Wrap your pet loosely in a blanket or a jacket. The disrupted circulation can cause hypothermia making the shock even worse.
SOME SWEETENING – Pets with signs of shock often have low blood sugar. In these cases, raising the blood sugar level is helpful. Rub honey or corn syrup on your pet’s gums.
HOMEOPATHIC SHOCK REMEDY – An effective pain remedy that is safe for dogs and cats is Arnica. The dose is 2 30C tablets twice daily. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is also a good anti-anxiety treatment you may use to make your pet more comfortable as you transport them (give yourself some too, it is good for your anxieties as well).
For more information on how to handle pet emergencies, check out Pet First Aid Secrets and to learn how to care for your pet’s health at home, naturally, check out Veterinary Secrets Revealed! For the love of your pet, don’t wait until it’s too late!
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