Shock: The failure of the circulatory system to maintain adequate blood flow through vital organs. Types of shock include:
Hypovolemic shock can result from severe vomiting, diarrhea or burns. Clinical signs include low blood pressure, high heart rate, and lowered urine production.
Hemorrhagic shock can result from sudden blood loss from a laceration, ruptured organs, or surgical procedures.
Cardiogenic shock can occur with primary heart disease, arrhythmias, or heart trauma. Other causes can include fluid pressure building in the pericardium (heart sac) or in cases of pneumothorax (collapsed lung or lungs due to severe chest trauma). Heartworm disease can be another cause.
Neurogenic shock can result from primary nervous system disorders, toxicity, heatstroke, or head trauma. Animals in this condition often appear to be asleep or under anesthesia.
Anaphylactic shock is a reaction to an allergy causing agent. This can be from insect bites, vaccinations, or medications to which the animal is allergic. Signs of this type of shock include hives, ‘brick-red membranes’, breathing trouble, vomiting, and sometimes fever.
Obstructive or mixed shock results from a combination of low blood volume and obstruction of blood flow. A common example is seen in cases of ‘bloat’. The stomach becomes twisted in the abdomen and then fills with gas. The resulting abdominal pressure prevents proper blood flow to the abdominal organs and heart.