• bolus;
  • canine;
  • crystalloids;
  • hypotensive;
  • shock



To assess the effectiveness of fluid resuscitation for the treatment of hypotensive dogs presented to the emergency room.


Retrospective study (2000–2010).


University teaching hospital.


Thirty-five dogs with confirmed hypotension.



Measurements and Main Results

Medical records from 2000 to 2010 were searched for dogs that had documented arterial hypotension (Doppler blood pressure <90 mm Hg) upon presentation to the emergency room. The following data were collected for retrospective analysis: signalment, body weight, systolic blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) before and after fluid resuscitation, type and volume of fluid administered within the first hour of hospitalization, presence or absence of confirmed sepsis, and outcome. There was a significant increase in BP following fluid resuscitation and 23 dogs showed normalization of blood pressure (Doppler blood pressure >90 mm Hg) following bolus IV fluid therapy within 1 hour of presentation. Fluid responsive animals were significantly less likely to be euthanized compared to those animals that did not respond to a fluid bolus (P = 0.013). The HR did not change significantly in either group postbolus therapy. Twenty-three dogs (65.7%) in the study received only isotonic crystalloid therapy, 11 dogs were administered both isotonic crystalloids and synthetic colloids, and 1 dog received only synthetic colloid resuscitation. A significant difference was not detected between groups with respect to type or volume of fluid administered.


Bolus fluid therapy for the treatment of hypotensive dogs resulted in increased in systolic arterial BP in all dogs, although the HR did not reliably decrease as might be expected. Dogs that showed normalization of BP within the first hour of fluid resuscitation were more likely to be discharged alive than those who remained hypotensive. A majority of dogs received and responded to isotonic crystalloids fluid resuscitation.