Dealing With Collapse in Dogs

May 9, 2018

Collapse in dogs is one of the most frustrating things veterinarians see in the emergency room, and collapse is unfortunately common.

Collapse in dogs is one of the most frustrating things veterinarians see in the emergency room, and collapse is unfortunately common. Liz Rozanski, DVM, associate professor of emergency and critical care at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, explains the different reasons and treatments for collapse in dogs.

When dogs collapse, something is either affecting the heart, brain, or lungs, Dr. Rozanski says—there's not enough blood flood to one of those organs. Dealing with collapse cases is two-fold: First, get the family members to bring their pets in as soon as possible. Then, when the patient gets to the hospital, look for evidence of collapse. Is their heart rate too fast or too slow? Could they have gotten into a poison? Are they bleeding internally?

Dr. Rozanski advises veterinarians to check the major body systems and see if there's an abnormality. Then, come up with a plan to correct that abnormality. Most cases respond well to therapy, you just need to understand the cause of collapse.