Health Topics  >  Musculoskeletal

Collapse or Fainting

There are numerous causes of collapse or fainting in dogs, and all are serious. A dog who collapses or suddenly faints requires medical attention. Some dogs will collapse and still be conscious but seem a little foggy. Almost all cases of collapse can be treated, but some carry a much better prognosis than others.

If you witness your dog collapse or find them collapsed, the most important thing to do is stay calm and safely transport your dog to the nearest veterinary hospital. Emergency hospitals are ideal, but wherever you go, it’s a good idea to call ahead so they can be ready for you and your dog. Your veterinary team will work rapidly to assess and stabilize your pet, then recommend a series of diagnostic tests to get to the root of the issue. While frightening, remember that there are many treatable causes of collapse in dogs, including Addison’s Disease, Epilepsy, and toxin ingestion. 

If your dog collapses but then quickly resumes their normal activity, it is still worth making a same-day appointment with your veterinarian. This kind of fainting activity is often associated with underlying heart disease.

Pro tips for visiting the veterinarian:

  • All cases of collapse should be seen by a vet ASAP, as it’s an indication of a possible emergency.
  • Be careful transporting a collapsed dog, especially if they suffered a seizure, as they may be confused and bite.
  • If a dog is seizing, give them a couple of minutes to come out of it before trying to move them.
  • Make notes of the events leading up to and after the collapse, as this will help your veterinarian diagnose the underlying condition.

References for Collapse or Fainting