In today’s VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, Dr. Garret Pachtinger, DACVECC discusses treatment of anaphylaxis or anaphylaxis shock in the dog or cat. Anaphylaxis / Anaphylactic Shock may result from a variety of triggers including envenomation, vaccination, or medication administration. The following is a list of medications and treatment options to consider for a small animal patient in anaphylactic shock. Please note, the route of administration as well as dosing may change based on the patient characteristics and underlying etiology. This is meant to be a guide, but not a complete list of medications or specific dosing instructions for a given patient.


Dose / Information


0.01 mg/kg IM or IV


2.2mg/kg IM

Dexamethasone Sodium Phosphate (DexSP)

0.1 mg/kg IM or IV

Intravenous fluids

Isotonic Crystalloid (e.g. 0.9% NaCl, Lactated Ringer’s,
or Normosol-R) 10-30 ml/kg over 15-30 minutes

Dopamine (Vasopressor)

5Ð10 µg/kg per minute IV CRI

Terbutaline (bronchodilator)

0.01 mg/kg IM or IV (As the lungs are the shock organ in
cats, this is more commonly considered in cats.)

*IV = Intravenous
*IM – Intramuscular

  1. Dear VETgirl, thank you for the important information! Let me ask about evidence sources of using steroids in treatment of anaphylaxis. Do they exist in vet medicine?

  2. Can Dex 2mg/ml be used in anaphylaxis or does it have to be Dex SP due to it’s water solubility and therefore safe for IV?

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