Shock is a body's response to a change in blood flow and oxygen to the internal organs.  This can occur as a result of a sudden loss of blood, a traumatic injury; heart failure, severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock), organ disease or an infection circulating through the body (septic shock).  There are three stages of shock, which may look very different. 

Early Shock

The body attempts to compensate for the decreased flow of fluids and oxygen to the tissues. 


Middle Stages of Shock

The body begins to have difficulty compensating for the lack of blood flow and oxygen. 


End Stage or Terminal Shock

Occurs when the body can no longer compensate for the lack of oxygen and blood flow to its vital organs. 


Cardiopulmonary arrest may soon follow!  Prepare to administer CPR.  An animal who is in shock, or who you suspect is in shock, should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. 

First Aid

    1.    Assess the ABCs of CPR and administer as needed. 
    2.    Control bleeding that may be occurring. 
    3.    Warm the animal by using a thermal blanket.  Wrap the blanket around the animal's body. 
    4.    Elevate the hind end slightly by placing a blanket underneath the hind end.  NOTE:  do not do this if you suspect a broken back. 
    5.    Transport to a veterinary hospital immediately.