Recognition, Treatment and Monitoring of Canine Hypovolemic Shock in First Opinion Practice in the United Kingdom

Efa Llewellyn, Marisa Lourenco, Alexandra Ambury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The aim of this study was to gain a greater understanding of the detection, treatment and monitoring of hypovolemic shock (HVS) in dogs by general practitioners in the United Kingdom (UK). An online survey was devised and distributed by email to first opinion practices in the UK. All veterinarians working in first opinion practice treating small animals were eligible to complete the survey. Most respondents (n=164, 93%) were confident with HVS diagnosis. Isotonic crystalloid fluids were the most common fluid type for first-line treatment and administered as a 10-30mL/kg bolus over 10-30 minutes by 57% respondents. Initial intravenous isotonic crystalloid fluid rates for HVS management ranged from maintenance fluid requirements to 90mL/kg/hr for an undefined time period. A synthetic colloid was the most popular second-line fluid choice, typically considered after a total administered volume of 60-90mL/kg of isotonic crystalloid fluids. Only 72 respondents (40.7%) were able to measure blood lactate in-house, which was used routinely by 36 respondents (20.3%) for initial treatment decision making. Respondents treating HVS most frequently were more likely to use lactate for initial decision making (p=0.008). 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 for canine HVS patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTopics in Companion Animal Medicine
Early online date9 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Bolus
  • colloid
  • fluid therapy
  • lactate
  • survey


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