Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care – Most Recent



To identify the most common practices of Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (DACVECCs) as they relate to the recognition and treatment of hypotension in dogs and cats, particularly concerning the use of vasopressors in vasodilatory shock states.


A survey regarding vasopressor use was sent to all active DACVECCs using the Veterinary Information Network. Questions focused on respondent characteristics, method of recognition of hypotension, triggers for initiation of vasopressor therapy, first- and second-line vasopressor choice, and methods of determining response to therapy.


A total of 734 DACVECCs were invited to participate, and 203 Diplomates (27.7%) completed the survey.


For both dogs and cats, the most common first-line vasopressor was norepinephrine (87.9% in dogs and 83.1% in cats). The most common second-choice vasopressor was vasopressin (44.2% in dogs and 39.0% in cats). Cutoff values for initiating vasopressor therapy varied between species and modality used for blood pressure measurement. In general, most DACVECCs chose to initiate vasopressor therapy at a Doppler blood pressure <90 mm Hg or a mean arterial pressure of <60 or <65 mm Hg when using oscillometric or direct arterial blood pressure measurements in dogs and cats.


Most DACVECCs adhere to published human guidelines when choosing a first-line vasopressor. However, there is significant variability in blood pressure measurement technique, cutoffs for initiation of vasopressor use, and choice of second-line vasopressors.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents

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