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