Collapsing Dog

The causes of and treatments for a dog who collapses.


Non-infectious/Acquired disease: Heart disease or back problems.

Trauma: Blow to the head, chest, or spine; severe cuts with extensive blood loss; or a snakebite.

Toxicity: Ivermectin (in sheepdog breeds), ethylene glycol, or ethanol (alcohol).

Parasites: Heartworms, hookworms (especially puppies), or tick paralysis.

Congenital abnormality: Muscle disorders (myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy).

Infectious disease: Distemper, parvovirus, rabies. Note: Never handle a dog who may have rabies. If possible, without touching the dog, confine him in a room, pen, or yard and call your local animal control for assistance.

Nutritional disorder: Calcium deficiency.

Allergy: Anaphylaxis.

Note: Shock (circulatory failure), which can occur with many of the above disorders, can also cause collapse.

What to do: Make sure dog is able to breathe. Control bleeding, if necessary. Take dog to veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

Disclaimer:’s Dog Medical Conditions are intended for educational purposes only. They are not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your dog’s ailment. If you notice changes in your dog’s health or behavior, please take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

Have a health question about your dog? Ask our 
vet expert or ask other dog owners on our forums.


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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

1/14/2013 5:28:30 AM

I want to be a great pet owner so any information I can get about dog health is very valuable.

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Jessie   B'ham, AL

12/5/2011 12:50:43 PM

My dog collapsed twice late one afternoon in July. The emergency vet attributed the collapse to extreme heat exhaustion. As a result the dog will not leave the house except to ride in the car or lay out in the fenced backyard. I have found no solutions to getting her walking again. We formerly took daily walks. If you have ideas, please post...

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janet   bethlehem, PA

9/8/2010 4:11:37 AM

good article thanks

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lilly   rivervale, NJ

1/8/2010 3:52:38 PM

I want to become a vet oneday, so this advice will really come in handy. I love because I love dogs and animals.

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