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Acute Collapse in Dogs

By: Dr. Etienne Cote

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Acute collapse is a sudden loss of strength causing your dog to fall and be unable to rise. In acute collapse, your pet falls to the ground either into a sitting position (hind limb collapse) or a lying position (complete collapse). Some dogs that suddenly collapse will actually lose consciousness. This is called fainting or syncope. Some dogs recover very quickly and look essentially normal just seconds to minutes after collapsing, whereas others stay in the collapsed state until helped.

Acute collapse is usually caused by a disorder of one of the following:

  • The nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerves)
  • The musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles)
  • The circulation (heart, blood vessels, blood)
  • The respiratory system (mouth, nose, throat, lungs)

    What To Watch For

    If your dog suffers an acute collapse, he will sit down suddenly or lie down and won't be able to get back up. Call or take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

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