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Shock in cats: recognize and treat symptoms


If cats are in shock, they can be in serious danger. It is all the more important that you recognize the symptoms and initiate first aid measures. Read here how you can help your pet in such a case. If cats are in shock, their breathing is quick and shallow - shutterstock / Ingus crucitis

Shock in cats can have different causes. Reasons can include an injury with high blood loss, a heart defect or poisons. An accident is often the cause of a shock. First of all, it is important that they recognize the symptoms and react correctly.

Shock: This is how I recognize the symptoms in my cat

It is important that you quickly recognize the symptoms of a shock in order to take appropriate action. The central symptoms include:

Fast, shallow breathing: When in shock, your cat's breathing is quick and shallow. Watch the chest movements for control. You can also put your hand on the animal's ribs.
Pale mucous membranes: Pale, whitish-porcelain-colored mucous membranes are also signs of a shock. Test the blood flow by briefly pressing your finger against the cat's gums. If the pale pink color does not return within two seconds, this speaks for a shock.
Fast pulse: The normal pulse is between 80 and 120 beats per minute, and higher for young and very small or excited animals. The pulse wave feels weak in shock, but at the same time the pulse races. To check, feel the pulse on the inside of your pet's thigh. Your fingers should be on the inside and your thumb on the outside.
Low body temperature: In the event of a shock, your pet's limbs feel remarkably cold. Usually the body temperature is between 38 degrees Celsius and 38.5 degrees Celsius. If it is 37 degrees Celsius or below, this can be a symptom of a shock.

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How can I provide first aid in the event of a shock?

There is a danger to life in the event of a shock. After the first few measures, call your veterinarian immediately so that he knows about the situation and is prepared for your arrival. You should take these first aid measures:

● Position your cat on its right side of the body. Try to raise the back of your body slightly.
● Extend your cat's neck so that the cat can breathe as freely as possible. Check whether the airways are clear or blocked in any way.
● Warm the four-legged friend with a warm blanket and / or a hot water bottle so that it does not cool down further.
● If your cat is bleeding profusely: Stop the bleeding with sterile compresses or a tight bandage.
● Go to a nearby veterinary practice or veterinary clinic as soon as possible.

Shock in cats: these are possible causes

There are several causes that can lead to shock. Common types and reasons of shock include:

Cardiovascular shock (Cardiogenic shock). Possible reasons here are heart failure, heart failure or cardiac arrhythmia.
Volume deficiency shock (Hypovolemic shock) if your cat loses a lot of fluids or bleeds heavily, for example, when vomiting or diarrhea is severe.
Anaphylactic shock: It is caused by strong allergic reactions.
Septic shock: It occurs particularly in young animals if they are affected by severe bacterial infections.
Metabolic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, thyroid dysfunction or adrenal gland disorders.
poisoning from external poisons such as heavy metal or medication as well as internal poisoning such as urine poisoning.


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