Shock Due to Heart Failure in Dogs

Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which the heart suddenly can't pump enough blood to meet body's needs. Cardiogenic shock is most often caused by a severe heart attack or the shock itself can cause heart attack. This condition is based upon an inadequate circulation of blood due to primary failure of the ventricles of the heart to function effectively. The condition is a medical emergency and is fatal if not treated right away.

There are various causes of cardiac dysfunction such as an enlarged or dilated heart muscle, compression of the lining of the heart, outflow obstructions, blood clot, severe heart disease, heartworm disease, or severe arrhythmias. An underlying disease may also cause cardiac dysfunction such as blood poisoning.

Most cardiogenic shock conditions are due to depressed left or right ventricle function but other conditions may also cause cardiogenic shock. Any breed, age, or gender can be affected by this condition.

Symptoms associated with cardiogenic shock are:

Pale mucous membranes (from decreased blood flow)

Cool extremities

Variable heart rate and respiratory rate

Harsh lung sounds and crackles


Weak pulse

Muscle weakness

Mental dullness

Cardiac decompensation may be associated with a history of previously compensated heart disease and cardiac drug administration

A suspicion of previously undiagnosed cardiac disease may result from a history of coughing, exercise intolerance, weakness, or loss of consciousness

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