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What is Shock?

If you suspect your cat is going into shock, keep it warm by covering with a blanket. Never apply direct heat to your cat’s body as this may worsen your cat’s condition. Remain calm to avoid adding to your cat’s stress. Finally, don’t feed or allow your cat to drink water during this time.

Shock occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen, which will result in the circulatory system slowing down. Shock can be caused by a variety of factors, including trauma or an allergic reaction. It is imperative that you consult a veterinarian immediately if your cat goes into shock. No matter the cause, shock can be life-threatening if not treated in time.

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Shock Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,000

Symptoms of Shock in Cats

If you notice your cat exhibiting any of the following signs, seek immediate veterinary attention to prevent a life-threatening event:

  • Pale or discolored gums
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Lethargy and general weakness
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Hypothermia
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Rapid and/or weak pulse
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Loss of consciousness*

*If your cat is unconscious, it is important that you ensure it is still breathing. If you can’t detect a pulse or if breathing has stopped, artificial resuscitation may be necessary. Keep the head lower than the heart to promote circulation.

Types

There are three types of shock in cats:

  • 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 commonly associated with infections, distributive shock results from problems within peripheral blood vessels and causes blood to flow away from the central circulatory system.
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Causes of Shock in Cats

There are many causes for shock in cats. The primary cause is usually trauma, such as being struck by a car or sustaining a serious or life-threatening physical injury. However, another cause may be an allergic reaction. This is referred to as anaphylactic shock and needs emergency veterinary attention.

Other causes of shock include exposure to certain toxic substances, bacterial infection, heat stroke, side effect of a serious illness, and significant loss of blood. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause upon diagnosis.

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Diagnosis of Shock in Cats

Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose your cat with shock based on clinical signs and physical examination. To determine the underlying cause of shock, your veterinarian may use a number of tests. These may include blood, urine, and stool analysis, x-rays, ultrasounds, and CT scans.

Be sure to inform your veterinarian of the duration of your cat’s signs as well as any underlying medical conditions or allergies that may have caused the shock. Once your cat is in a more stable condition, your veterinarian may ask you for a complete medical history.

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Treatment of Shock in Cats

Treatment methods will depend on the cause and severity of shock. However, the main goal for all treatment methods is to restore oxygen and fluid levels. Due to the time-sensitive nature of shock, your veterinarian will likely begin treatment based on your cat’s specific needs immediately.

Intravenous fluid therapy is typically administered in cases of shock. Oxygen therapy may also be utilized if the cat is having trouble breathing. If the cat is bleeding, the veterinarian will try to  control the bleeding. If your cat has suffered extensive physical injury, the use of anesthetics in addition to surgery may be required. This is also true in cases of internal bleeding. If the shock is anaphylactic, your veterinarian will administer epinephrine via injection to help the reaction to subside.

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Recovery of Shock in Cats

Always follow your veterinarian’s post-treatment instructions carefully. If your cat is suffering from a bacterial infection and has been prescribed antibiotics, it is imperative that you administer the medication for the entire duration of the recommended treatment period. Failure to do so could result in aggressive recurrence.

If your cat has suffered from serious physical injury, ensure that it  gets plenty of rest and avoids overexertion. Provide your cat with a warm place to rest, as this will encourage regulation of the circulatory system. Your veterinarian will be able to give you specific recovery instructions if your cat has broken a bone or sustained internal injuries.

If your cat has had surgery, you will need to ensure it doesn’t irritate the surgery site. If your cat has been diagnosed with a severe illness such as heart disease, be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions regarding treatment, drug administration, and recovery.

Depending on the severity of the underlying cause, your veterinarian may schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor your cat’s condition.

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Shock Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,000

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Shock Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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domestic short hair cat with tiger markings

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year old

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting Rapid Breathing

my cat was attacked by a dog, she has been throwing up alot has been using the bathroom where she lay she has walked a little bit but usually lays down immediatly afterwards.. she is very cold and has been asleep.. she has been responsive and alert.. im worried about her.. she's rapidly breathing. im not sure if there was much blood

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that happened to her. It sounds like she needs to see a veterinarian, as I cannot examine her to see if she is okay. There may be treatment that she needs to help her heal, and they will be able to look at her and see what is going on with her.

Oct. 7, 2020

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Kitten

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Four Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Tongue Slightly Sticking Out And Heavy Breathing

She was attacked by a dog There are no visible injuries just the ones mentioned above What should I do

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is okay. If they are still having any problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 20, 2020

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Shock Average Cost

From 452 quotes ranging from $500 - $6,000

Average Cost

$2,000

Vet bills can sneak up on you.

Plan ahead. Get the pawfect insurance plan for your pup.

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