An Online Survey Evaluating the Treatment of Hypovolaemic Shock in Dogs in First Opinion Small Animal Practice within the United Kingdom

Marisa Lourenco, Efa Llewellyn, Alexandra Ambury

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introduction: Hypovolemia can have deleterious consequences if not recognized and addressed promptly. Currently, there is limited evidence relating to the incidence of canine patients diagnosed with hypovolemic shock (HVS) and standard treatment practices for HVS in first opinion practices within the United Kingdom. This study aimed to gain a greater understanding of the detection, treatment, and monitoring of HVS by general practitioners in the United Kingdom.Methods:An online survey was devised and distributed by email to first opinion practices in the United Kingdom. All veterinarians working in first opinion small animal practice were eligible to complete the survey between October 21,2018 and December 31, 2018.Results:A total of 177 respondents completed the survey. Most respondents (164, [93%]) were confident with HVS diagnosis in canine patients. Sixty-eight respondents statedthey calculate their fluid plan the same way for both the treat-ment of dehydration and HVS. A compound-sodium-lactate isotonic crystalloid was used as first-line treatment by 163respondents, administered as 10–30 mL/kg bolus over 10–30 minutes by 57% respondents. Per the respondents, when administering an initial isotonic fluid bolus, this could range from maintenance fluid rates to 90 mL/kg IV over 5 minutes. A synthetic colloid was the most popular second-line fluid choice, typically considered after a total volume of 60–90 mL/kg of isotonic crystalloid fluids had been administered. Only 72 respondents (40.7%) were able to measure plasma lactate in-house, which was used routinely by 36 respondents for initial treatment decision making. There was a weak significant negative correlation between years working in clinical practice and likelihood of use of lactate (r-0.214,P=0.004). Respondents treating HVS more frequently in practice were more likely to use lactate for initial decision making (P=0.008) and use vasopressors (P<0.001).Conclusion:Despite the majority of respondent’s utilizing isotonic crystalloids for the initial treatment of HVS, this study highlighted variabilities in the initial approach, fluid management strategies, and monitoring instituted by UK general practitioners when faced with canine patients in HVS.This suggests that there is a discrepancy in what is determined to be the most optimal diagnostic and treatment plan in canine HVS patients managed in first opinion practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2019
EventInternational Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium 2019 - Washington DC, United States
Duration: 6 Sept 201910 Sept 2019


ConferenceInternational Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Symposium 2019
Abbreviated titleIVECCS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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