Treating Shock

When blood pressure falls causing inadequate blood flow to a cats organs and tissues, which results in decreased oxygen, shock will occur. The body will speed up the heart in an attempt to compensate for the decreased circulation which diverts blood flow from nonvital organs and tries to maintain enough fluid in circulation. This in turn will cause the organs to have trouble functioning and the heart to have an increasingly difficult time pumping due to inadequate oxygen.

Shock can be difficult to recognize and can even be mistaken for other conditions. If left untreated death can occur.

Some common causes of shock include: burns, heat stroke, poisoning, serious illness, hemorrhaging, dehydration (from vomiting or diarrhea), and trauma in general.

Signs of shock include: a drop in body temperature (the cat may feel cold to the touch), pale mucous membranes, shivering, weak pulse (often rapid), weakness, and rapid breathing.

To treat shock: first control any bleeding if present, then administer artificial respiration if breathing stops. Proceed with CPR if the heart stops. Position the cat with her head lower than her body but don’t force her into a position if she wants to sit. Try to keep her calm and let her settle into the position she finds most comfortable. Be sure not to stress her because it will make breathing more difficult. Wrap the cat within a blanket and seek emergency veterinary care asap.

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