Traumatic injuries causing the eventual development of hypovolemic shock are common in small animals, particularly dogs. Adequate fluid therapy to reverse hypovolemia and to maintain perfusion to vital organs is essential for successful case management. It is important for the veterinary clinician to be familiar with all of the available options for fluid resuscitation.

Injuries can be classified as either blunt or penetrating. Common blunt force injuries include hit-by-car (HBC) or kicks, while penetrating injuries include bite wounds or gunshot injuries. Knowledge of the mechanism of injury is helpful in predicting the extent of the injuries and determining the type and frequency of patient monitoring. For example, in a small dog with bite wounds over the chest, the astute clinician may worry about intrathoracic injuries such as pneumothorax, hemorrhage, or lung laceration.

Shock is defined as inadequate oxygen delivery to the tissues to meet the metabolic needs for the individual...

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