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Acute Collapse in Dogs

By: Dr. Etienne Cote

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Many of the diseases that cause acute collapse are progressive, which means they can get worse. Once a diagnosis has been reached and the cause of collapse is known, you should discuss with your veterinarian the frequency of rechecks.

Follow-up care may include:

  • Giving any medications prescribed.

  • Scheduling re-evaluations as recommended.

  • Monitoring your pet for weakness. Often this is apparent as an unwillingness or difficulty in rising, stumbling when walking, or recurrence of collapse.

  • Monitoring for breathing difficulties such as labored or rapid breathing. This may indicate a problem in the circulation, lungs, or blood, or suggest your dog is feeling discomfort or pain.

  • Preparing a plan should collapse recur. This is a significant issue if transportation is not immediately available. Also consider if the collapsing pet is a large dog and too heavy for one person to carry alone. If two people are available, even a large dog can be carried if the dog is carefully laid on a sturdy blanket and the blanket is pulled taut by the corners to serve as a stretcher.

  • Exact recommendations depend on the precise cause of the collapse.


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