Acute collapse results from a sudden loss of strength causing your pet to either sit suddenly or completely fall over. Pets are often unable to get back up on their own after a collapsing episode. If your pet sits, lies down or falls over and cannot get back up, seek veterinary help immediately as this is considered a medical emergency requiring immediate attention.

Some pets will collapse due to a loss of consciousness. Some pets will recover quickly from an episode of collapse and continue on like nothing has happened, and others will not recover until medical help is sought. Acute collapse can happen for a number of reasons including abnormal heart beats (arrhythmias), cardiovascular problems, sudden internal hemorrhage, nervous system disorders, toxin exposure, breathing difficulties, limb weakness, and heat stroke.

Treatment for acute collapse varies depending on the underlying cause. Clearing the airway of obstructions, medications to combat poisons, intravenous fluids, blood transfusions in case of internal or external bleeding, and surgery are possible treatments for an episode of collapse.

Diagnostics can also vary based on the suspected cause of collapse. Common diagnostics include blood work and x-rays. In some cases an EKG, ultrasound, or more in-depth imaging such as a MRI or CT is warranted. Your pet may also be referred to a specialist such as a Cardiologist for further testing.

Your pet’s recovery varies widely depending on the underlying cause of the collapse. It is best to discuss this with your veterinarian to fully understand your pet’s situation.

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