Canine fainting is called syncope, which causes the dog to completely collapse and this can last just a few seconds up to several minutes. Of course, seeing your dog go limp and collapse can be a frightening sight to witness. Many fainting spells are caused from low blood pressure, but finding out what is causing the low blood pressure is another matter entirely.
Other causes for fainting in dogs can be due to a collapsed trachea, which can cause a severe cough in the dog with gagging that can cause him or her to temporarily lose consciousness. Small and toy breeds are more prone to the collapsed trachea problem than are larger dogs.
Additionally, certain drug medications that your dog may be on can also cause a reaction that includes fainting. If your dog is taking any medications, you should contact you veterinarian to see what the side effects are and if fainting is possibly related to the medications.
Seek Veterinarian Attention
At the first sign of a fainting episode, you will want to bring your dog to your veterinarian for a full evaluation to find out what is causing the fainting. Diagnostic tests will include blood tests, chest x-rays, pulse check, heartworm test, blood pressure, and additional tests if the veterinarian sees fit.
Your veterinarian will work with you in order to find the cause and treatment of the fainting. If is something that only happened one time, it could just be a fluke and may never happen again, but having it thoroughly checked is always best since it is not normal.
If the fainting is due to a collapsed trachea, a short-course of antibiotics may be required in order to relieve the inflammation. If your dog is young, they do have surgeries available that can fix the problem. Again, this is particularly common in smaller and toy breeds.
Normally, if your dog does faint, they recover from it very quickly with no lasting effects if low blood pressure or the trachea causes it. It is very important to have the condition diagnosed properly because this way you know what you are dealing with and you can treat your dog accordingly.
Finally, your veterinarian may or may not give you medication for your dog. If the fainting seems to happen when the dog is very excited, then you should make sure you do not get your dog too excited. In addition, if your dog does have a collapsing trachea, do not use collars, rather switch to a harness if you need to walk your dog.
Lastly, if your dog is coughing and fainting due to the coughing, your veterinarian might give you a prescription cough syrup to open up the airways.