Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation Average Cost

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What is Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation?

Your dog may go into hypovolemic shock for many reasons, but it is usually caused by a major loss of blood. This can be from an internal injury, external injury, or because of an illness such as a bleeding ulcer or cancer. Hypovolemic shock can affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, and intestinal systems of your dog. When the blood levels are decreased, there are many things going on inside your dog that are life threatening. The blood pressure drops dramatically, causing blood clotting in the capillaries. The lungs and liver start to fail, causing breathing problems and a buildup of toxic substances in the body. The heart will become damaged and kidneys will shut down, causing further toxicity in your dog’s body. Not long after that, the rest of the organs shut down, leading to death.

Shock due to decrease in circulation (hypovolemic shock) is a serious and life-threatening condition that is most often caused by loss of blood due to internal or external bleeding from trauma or illness. Hypovolemic shock can block the oxygen and other essential nutrients from getting to the dog’s tissues because there is not enough blood to fill the vascular system. Without treatment, the affected parts of the body, such as the heart or lungs, can be damaged and can even lead to death.


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Symptoms of Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation in Dogs

If the initial injury or illness is not obvious, such as with internal injury and illness, the first signs you may see are:

  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Severe weakness
  • Excessive thirst
  • Decreased urination
  • Panting
  • Pale skin and gums
  • Cold ears and extremities
  • Cool and clammy skin
  • Very weak pulse
  • Inactivity and confusion
  • Breathing erratically
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Vomiting or trying to vomit
  • Respiratory failure
  • Fainting
  • Collapse leading to coma

Causes of Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation in Dogs

There are many causes of hypovolemic shock and while some are obvious, such as extreme bleeding, there are many that are not so obvious. Some of the most common causes of hypovolemic shock are:

  • Loss of blood
  • Excessive vomiting and diarrhea
  • Major burns over a large part of your dog’s body
  • Ingestion of blood thinning medication (i.e. heparin, warfarin)
  • Exposure to extreme cold for a prolonged period
  • Bloat (causes a buildup of high pressure in the abdomen)
  • Septicemia from internal injury or infection
  • Hemorrhage or bleeding ulcer

Diagnosis of Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation in Dogs

Before the veterinarian does the examination, it is important to get your dog stabilized by giving IV fluids. Once your dog is safe, tell the veterinarian what led up to the episode and what you think may be causing the hypovolemic shock. The veterinarian also needs your dog’s medical history, which includes any illnesses or injuries recently, vaccination records, if your dog could have been in an accident, and whether your dog has been exposed to other dogs (i.e. dog park, doggie day care) where your dog could have gotten hurt during rough play. A comprehensive physical examination will also be done, including your dog’s weight, body temperature, blood pressure, and heart rate.

The veterinarian will order some tests to determine the exact cause of the hypovolemic shock. If the cause of the shock is vomiting and diarrhea, the veterinarian will first do fungal, viral, and bacterial culture tests to try to find the cause. Further tests will include blood work (i.e. blood count, blood gas, chemistry panel), urinalysis, electrocardiogram (ECG), and radiographs (x-rays). Depending on the results of these tests, the veterinarian may want to do further testing which may include an MRI, CT scan, and ultrasound to try to find the cause of the internal bleeding. If these tests are inconclusive and your dog is still showing signs of shock, the veterinarian may admit your dog to the hospital for continued IV fluids and observation. You may also be referred to a specialist.

Treatment of Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation in Dogs

The treatment for your dog will depend on the underlying cause of the hypovolemic shock. If the IV fluid therapy needs to continue, your dog will be admitted to the hospital as long as the fluids are necessary to restore your dog’s blood volume and circulation rate. The veterinarian will continue to monitor your dog’s vital signs and possibly administer medications or blood transfusions if needed. Your dog’s urine output will be carefully monitored to be sure his kidneys are working properly. It is best to continue the treatment at the hospital as long as you can for your dog’s best chance of survival and recovery. 

If the veterinarian finds an illness or medical condition that needs to be treated, that will be treated as soon as your dog’s vitals are back to normal because if the underlying problem is not resolved, the hypovolemic shock will return.

Recovery of Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation in Dogs

With all of the complications that are possible during hypovolemic shock, your dog’s chances of survival are fair to good, depending on the cause of the loss of blood. If the problem is discovered and treated right away (if the reason is treatable), your dog’s chances of recovery are very good. Be sure to keep your dog calm when you bring him home and follow up with your veterinarian as often as directed.

Shock Due to Decrease in Circulation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

German Shepherd
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain shock

Hi there. So I just lost my beautiful dog 2 nights ago, sadly she is no longer here. I just would like a professional opinion on how my dog had possibility passed... (where I am from the pet emergency hotline isn’t the best) I wish I knew all these pet CPR info so I could have been able to help my girl...

My dog ran out of our home gate, and was hit by a car. She was able to pick herself back up and ran back into our home in a couple seconds. As soon as she came back inside, she was laying down on her tummy for most of the time. I didn’t know what to do at the time, and of course I was panicking. I had my dad here with me as well, but and had no idea how to help her. (We trying to call our vet
For advice but had no luck) She had slight bleeding but we would not tell where it was coming from as we were afraid to pick her up. She was breathing for about 10 minutes, then started to decrease... another 10 minutes passed and her breathing stopped. Her eyes stayed opened, and her body didn’t feel warm anymore.

Could she have passed away from internal bleeding, or from shock? Could I have been able to perform cpr if I had knew how to then?

Would just like some opinion as me and my husband right now are just very heartbroken... too upset to speak to our vet as well ):

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8 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Panting,nausea,skaking,glazed eyes,

My sisters greyhound was bitten, we suspect, by an ant last night. She is abit sooky with her feet but she was extremely distressed and in pain. As it was 10pm we could only treat her with an ice pack which relieved the pain a fair bit. She was panting, rapid heartbeat and crying. Her gums were very red, eyes glazed and she was shaking (shivering). We kept stroking and calming her and eventually she settled down (she was on her lounge) and fell asleep. However during the night she vomited. We all had asleepless night ready to take her to the vet on the morning. However in the morning, to our delight (and surprise) she was fine and even went for her usual walk/run/swim at the beach. I urged my sister to take her to the vet but she didn't want to stress her again (she almost goes into shock every time!). She stayed on her lounge all day (exhausted but ok). Fingers crossed she's recovered fully however I will call in to the vet tomorrow to get some further advice.

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9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


Let my 9 year old chihuahua Lucy and other dogs out to use bathroom at around 830pm the other night. (other dogs, 2 month, 11 month, and 4 year old pits). the two older pits went running to go under fence line and i went to get and on way back towards house i saw my chihuahua lad in the grass. I went to pick her up, she was stiff, eyes bulged, and tongue blue. I immediately freaked out and started cpr. checked her throat. nothing seemed to be there. pumped her chest and breathed in her mouth until her chest rose. still seemed to be lifeless. rushed her in house to my garden tub and turned on water. don’t know why but was hoping the shock of the water would bring her back. continued cpr. put my finger down her throat again and she bit me. she was back. wrapped her in blanket and she laid there in shock it kind of seemed. i moved her wherever i went. watched her. she used bathroom 1 and 2 and ate some chicken and rice. Questions. what happened. did she choke or other dog run her over. seems fine but will only drink water from my son or boyfriend not me. is she mad at me? did i overreact? i know she was pretty dead with tongue blue and stiff?

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Picardy Spaniel
12 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms


Hi there, I would like to better understand why our dog died last Saturday (we had some things explained to us by the vet at the time but I’m still piecing together as a blur).
Benji had had tumours removed in the 6 months leading up (never tested) - one lump on neck, the other an enlarged testicle (they were both removed).
He seemed ok recently, maybe a little slower, not wanting to go for many walks, picky about food, a little weaker but we put this down to old age...
Last Saturday he started shivering in the night, then panting, then retreating to the (freezing!) garden. Eventually he collapsed just before our emergency appointment. We carried him into the vets where they said he was in shock and dying. He was euthanised within an hour. This was shocking and devastating as he was fine only the night before.
In addition to all this, his bottom was very swollen and red and he couldn’t seem to pass stool. He had also weed on the carpet that morning (unlike him) and had gotten us up several times in the night to go outside. His bottom smelled infected - we hadn’t even noticed this until a couple of hours before.
The vets said most likely an internal tumour ruptured and he was bleeding internally. I don’t know how this is linked to his bottom and inability to pass stool?
I’ve been reading about hemangosarcoma - the symptoms sound similar (I noticed his gums were pale at the end)
Please if you can help me better understand what happened to our beloved boy, we are heartbroken. Thank you

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm sorry that this happened to your Benji. Without examining him, I cannot comment on how he may have died, but hemangiosarcoma is somewhat common as dogs get older, and can cause sudden collapse and shock. I am sorry for your loss.

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7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms


I was told by a vet that my dog has pancreatitis and to take his food away for 24 hours and give him pepto bismol and water. It’s been 24 hrs and he’s doing better but he’s still lethargic and vomiting. Should I give him pedialyte? Or something else?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Rocky hasn't improved over 24 hours, he should be rechecked by your veterinarian - he may need to be hospitalized for supportive care if his pancreatitis is worsening and not improving. If he hasn't had a test for Parvo virus, that would be a good idea as well, as pancreatitis is not common in a 7 month old dog, but Parvo virus and intestinal parasites are, as well as foreign body obstructions. I'm not sure what testing was done previously, but he may need a little more care at this point. I hope that he is okay.

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