Fainting and Dizziness (Syncope): First Aid

Date Published: 12/31/1994
Date Reviewed/Revised: 03/26/2020

Fainting is the sudden loss of consciousness or a sudden and marked weakness. It may be associated with numerous medical conditions and can be caused by anything from low blood sugar and neurological diseases to heart disease. 

What to Do

  • Immediately position the pet with the head down and the hind quarters elevated. This will improve brain blood flow. 
  • Cover the pet with a blanket to preserve body heat. 
  • If the pet vomits, make sure he does not inhale any of the vomitus into his lungs by keeping his head down. 
  • Seek veterinary attention.

What NOT to Do

  • Do not give anything by mouth. It can be aspirated into the lungs and cause serious problems. 
  • Do not slap the pet or douse him with cold water trying to shock him into consciousness. 
  • Do not fail to seek veterinary attention just because the animal recovered quickly and seems fine now. Several of the conditions that cause fainting or dizziness are serious and require diagnostic tests in order to determine the cause and prevent future episodes.

The content of this site is owned by Veterinary Information Network (VIN®), and its reproduction and distribution may only be done with VIN®'s express permission.

The information contained here is for general purposes only and is not a substitute for advice from your veterinarian. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk.

Links to non-VIN websites do not imply a recommendation or endorsement by VIN® of the views or content contained within those sites.

Top
SAID=27