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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 vet immediately if your cat goes into shock. No matter the cause, shock can be life-threatening if not treated in time.

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 symptoms, 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 common cause is an allergic reaction. This is referred to as anaphylactic shock and warrants 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 vet will be able to determine the cause upon diagnosis.

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Diagnosis of Shock in Cats

Your vet will be able to diagnose your cat with shock based on clinical signs and physical examination. To determine the underlying cause of shock, your vet 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 vet of the duration of your cat’s symptoms 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 vet 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 vet will begin treatment based on your cat’s specific needs immediately following the definitive diagnosis.

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 vet will 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 vet will administer epinephrine via injection in order for the reaction to subside.

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Recovery of Shock in Cats

Always follow your vet’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 vet 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 vet’s instructions regarding treatment, drug administration, and recovery.

Depending on the severity of the underlying cause, your vet 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 for the delay in answering, this platform is not set up for urgent responses. 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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Dell

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StrayCat

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3 Months

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Critical severity

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2 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Car Accient

Hi.. My name is Dell, and my cat got hit by a friends car. She was in comma for 6 days now & i only support her thru Fresh milk feeding using syringe. I want to see her walking again and i am so worried she is getting skinnier. Dell

Sept. 24, 2018

Dell's Owner

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Kim

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domestic short hair

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Walking Tenderly
Lethargy

My cat and dog got into a fight. My cat lost three claws and was bleeding quite a bit before I could help him. I cleaned and bandaged paw and there are no broken bones my to be internal injuries, but he has been sleeping more than usual and sometimes it’s difficult for him to be up for long periods of time. His habits of eating are normal. Is he in shock or just trying to rest?

Sept. 19, 2018

Kim's Owner

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Angus

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Male tabby cat. With tiger markings

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8 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Shock.Heavy Breathing.

My cat Angus was run over by a truck on Thursday morning. I saw the whole thing and driver was speeding and didn't stop he just kept driving. When I got to Angus it looked like his back end was crushed bone sticking out. And he looked to be in shock. I tried my best but by 10 seconds he was gone. I just hope he didn't suffer in pain.

Aug. 25, 2018

Angus' Owner

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0 Recommendations

It is distressing that you witnessed Angus being run over, however you were with him when he passed; I doubt that in the short time interval between being hit and his passing he would have been aware of what was happening around him. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 25, 2018

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Barney

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Tuxedo

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Pale Mucous Membranes
Shock
Hypothermia
Weak Leg

A few weeks ago my very verbal cat cried very loudly and pooped himself and showed weak hind legs. We took him to the vet immediately and got xrays thinking maybe he ate something and had a blockage. Xrays came back normal but he had pale mucous membranes and a slightly low temp (98.8) . He behaved like he was in shock and traumatized from going to the vet and slept for like three or four hours before waking up and acting like everything is fine. He has been fine since with lots of energy. I have no idea if maybe he hurt himself playing or had a tummy ache and then was in shock from going to the vet or if it is something more serious like a partial blood clot (vet did not hear a heart murmur). I am worried about re-traumatizing him by taking hiM back to the vet when he is acting normal. Is it possible for cats to get shock like symptoms from fear from going to the vet?

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Callie

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Calico

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3 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Weakness
Sleepy
Shock
Lathargic

my 3 1/2 month old kitten just got attacked by some dog and now she is weak and lethargic, she doesn't seem to have any physical injuries but she's seems in shock. we took her to the vets and the vet said she was fine but she's not her usual self and she's very weak, I don't know what to do I am very worried about her and she's sleeping a lot and won't eat or drink

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Jaime

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short domestic

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9 Weeks

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

Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Lifeless
Week
Wierd Cry

I got 2 kittens at 8 weeks old. 1 Nemo was playful and normal. He was eating and drinking and using the liter box normal. The other Jamie was a cry baby and didn't want to be any where but in someone arms. As time went on, maybe a week... Nemo is 3 times the size as Jaime and Jaime crys all the time. I seen him eat and drink i just don't know why he wasn't growing. Then about 2 days later Jamie was crying with his tooth stuck in a rug. I think it could have been all night because I found him like that when i woke up. I got him unstuck but his pupils were so tiny and he was so week. He looked dead. But then he started to cry out. I tried to give him so water. But then 5 min later he died in my arms. His pupils got so huge and he just stopped breathing. I now can't stop thinking about him. I wish i did more. I feel that i killed him by not finding him in time. Im haunted now. Somebody please tell me what you think may have happened.

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Evie

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Longhair

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Limping
Growling
Sleepiness

My cat evie got attacked by a dog this afternoon I separated them within seconds but she's not been right since she's growling when being moved shes sleeping all the time she was growling when walking but that's stopped now she's eaten a little bit of chicken but that's it she won't drink anything she's 8/9 not sure as she's a rescue at the moment she's cuddled up on the sofa with a blanket on her I can't get to a vets until tomorrow morning she doesnt have any cuts on her the dog didn't break the skin

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church

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0range tabby

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4 Weeks

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

Critical severity

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0 found helpful

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

Critical severity

Has Symptoms

Death

does anyone know why cats and kittens flop around after being hit and killed by a car is it meaning that their suffering or just nerves my mom and me were traumatized after a 4 week old stray kitten we were feeding and planning on taking to the humane society was killed by my mom accidentally running over its head she said it was flopping around and she felt horrible and we started crying bc she had honked the horn to see if it was under the car and even tapped the breaks so she went and said she felt something soft under the wheel i busted out in to tears with her as she told me it was flopping around we are still in grief for its been three days i want to know if it was flopping around bc it was alive an in pain or just nerves i've tried to look for an answer al over the internet bt i got nothing

Shock Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$2,000

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