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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Anaphylactic Shock View In Cats

First Aid Condition

First aid health condition




Condition Overview

Anaphylactic shock is an immediate, serious allergic reaction. The most common drug allergen that causes anaphylactic shock is penicillin. The venom in the stings of bees and wasps can also occasionally produce anaphylactic shock.


Anaphylactic shock causes signs and symptoms different from those of shock. Initially there may be local signs at the point of contact including pain, itching, swelling, and redness of the skin. With acute anaphylaxis, the allergic response becomes generalized, either immediately or over the course of several hours. Signs are agitation, diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, stridor from a swollen voice box, weakness, and circulatory collapse. In untreated cases, coma and death follow.


Anaphylactic shock occurs when a dog is exposed to an allergen to which he has been sensitized. Sensitivity occurs through prior contact.


Diagnosis is made by evaluating symptoms.


Emergency treatment of anaphylactic shock involves asministering intravenous or subcutaneous (under the skin) adrenaline, oxygen, antihistamines, IV fluids, and hydrocortisone - which are not available in the home. This is why it is best to have your veterinarian give vaccines - he or she has the drugs and equipment to treat allergic reactions in time.

If you see symptoms that appear to be anaphylactic shock, give your pet an antihistamine like Benadryl as soon as possible. Pets suffering from anaphlyaxis may have trouble swallowing because their throats often swell, making the pills difficult to administer. The liquid form of Benadryl usually comes in a dose of 12.5mg per teaspoon and pills are usually 25mg each. Pets will need 1mg per pound of body weight every 6 - 8 hours. This can help bring down the swelling and ease his breathing, but this is a life threatening emergency and you must take your pet to the vet right away.


A dog who has had an allergic reaction to a drug in the past should not be given that drug again.


Contact your veterinarian on the way to the animal hospital with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

The First Aid Companion for Dogs And Cats

Publisher: Rodale Inc, 2001

Website: http://www.rodalebooks.com/

Authors: Amy D. Shojai, Shane Bateman DVM

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