Emergency Appeal

As a charity, we need your support more than ever. Your donations will help our vets provide life-saving care at this time of crisis.

First aid for collapsed pets


  • Collapse can be caused by many different problems including: heart disease, low blood sugar, pain, breathing difficulties, Addison’s disease, blood loss and seizures.
  • If your pet has collapsed, make sure they are safe, check them over and call your vet.

What to do if your pet has collapsed

Step one: Make sure they are safe

  • Make sure your pet is in a cool, safe, quiet place.
  • If necessary, use a blanket, board or towel to move them.
  • Keep your pet calm by reassuring them in a soft voice.

Step two: Check them over

Check your pet and call your vet practice immediately if they are:

  • Collapsed and not responding
  • Not breathing - also start CPR
  • Struggling to breathe
  • Very pale (white/blue gums)
  • Very painful or unable to move
  • Developing a swollen belly

If your pet seems to be coming round, calmly reassure them while they recover.

Step three: Call your vet

  • Call your vet for an emergency appointment if your pet doesn’t improve quickly or if they have any of the signs above.
  • Even if your pet recovers quickly from their collapse, call your vet for advice afterwards. Your vet may want to check them over to understand why it happened.
Published: March 2020

Written by vets and vet nurses. This advice is for UK pets only. Illustrations by Samantha Elmhurst.