• aspiration pneumonia;
  • critical care;
  • endocrinology;
  • hypotension;
  • systemic inflammatory response syndrome


Objective – To describe a case of hydrocortisone-responsive hypotension and critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency (CIRCI) in a dog with septic shock.

Case Summary – A dog with aspiration pneumonia developed septic shock with pressor-refractory hypotension. A standard ACTH stimulation test was performed that showed a blunted cortisol response consistent with CIRCI. Reversal of shock was achieved within 2 hours of hydrocortisone administration, and complete weaning from pressors was accomplished over the subsequent 8 hours. The patient recovered and was discharged from the hospital. An ACTH stimulation test performed 1 month after hospital discharge showed normal adrenal responsiveness consistent with resolution of CIRCI.

New or Unique Information Provided – This case is the first published report of hydrocortisone-responsive hypotension and transient CIRCI associated with naturally occurring septic shock in a dog.