ADV-Lesson 3- Shock

Shock is when the animal’s organs do not receive enough oxygenated blood. They will begin to function slowly and then begin to die. There are many different situations that can cause shock. Some of these include excessive bleeding, hit by car, hypothermia, hyperthermia, seizures, trauma, and severe allergic reactions.

Three types of shock:
  • Hypovolemic: This type of shock occurs when there has been a significant loss of blood or fluid due to an injury.
  • Cardiogenic: When the heart has failed, cardiogenic shock will occur.
  • Distributive: Most associated with infections, distributive shock results from problems within peripheral blood vessels and causes blood to flow away from the central circulatory system.

Signs of shock include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in the level of responsiveness
  • Rapid shallow breaths
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extremities being cold
  • Trembling, collapse
  • Dilated pupils
  • Gums extremely pale or showing a bluish discoloration

The first aid for shock needs to be administered as quickly as possible. This is an extremely life-threatening situation for the animal. Prompt recognition of the signs, immediate initiation of first aid procedures, and safe and rapid transport to a veterinary hospital may save the animal’s life.

Be prepared to provide adequate CPR if the animal goes into cardiac arrest. If the animal is bleeding from its injuries, then stopping the bleeding is the number one concern. Gently immobilize the pet and prevent loss of body heat by covering the animal with one or more blankets. It is helpful to keep the animal’s head lower than its heart so that blood continues to flow to the brain.

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