Crashing Puppy/Shock Protocol

This is the medical protocol, created by veterinarians, followed by staff & volunteers when a patient is in shock upon intake or during hospital stay.


Signs of shock:

  • comatose, Minimally or non-responsive, lethargic, lateral
  • pale, grey, tacky and/or white gums
  • thready pulses
  • very weak, cannot stand
  • cannot swallow
  • low temperature (under 97)
  • vocalizing


  1. Place IVC - ASAP, and get a PCV/TP/BG
    1. If unable to do so yourself, get help from a vet or clinic staff member. Do not blow all the veins before having a vet try!
    2. If the dog already has an IVC, draw blood from a different vein to run a PCV/TP/BG
  2. Give fluid bolus over 5-15 minutes, or as fast as it will go.
    1. If in ward ≤ 3 days, give LRS 10mL/lb
    2. if in ward > 3 days give Hetastarch 10mL/lb
  3. During fluid bolus:
    1. Warmth – "burrito" the patient in blankets, covered with a heating pad set on LOW, with only catheter paw sticking out. Do not remove from burrito unless essential because heat must be trapped inside to warm patient..
    2. Rectal Temp - alert vet if feverish (above 102.5) (most will be cold), do not remove burrito blankets
    3. Dextrose 50% - IV repeatedly (3cc/10lb) every 3 minutes (set up a timer) until you hook up patient on pump with dextrose later.
    4. Position - Sit dog sternal if able. Use towels to help support them.
  4. Assess & call the on-call vet: After fluid bolus is finished, assess gum color and feet temperature (should be warm)
    1. If still cold feet, gray gums: Repeat Bolus
    2. Do not give a third bolus without doctor advice.
  5. Syringe Feed - Once warm, start syringe feeding if patient is swallowing and not vomiting. If not swallowing, try IV dextrose boluses and dextrose on the gums until patient will allow better food.
  6. Pump - Place on IVF at 3x maintenance (3ml/hr/lb) for the next 24 hours. Start regular treatment.
  7. Offer food mixed with water - do not give plain water (more likely to vomit)