Small animal cardiopulmonary ­resuscitation (CPR) in general practice

Höhne, S. N.; Kruppert, A. P.; Boller, M (2020). Small animal cardiopulmonary ­resuscitation (CPR) in general practice. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 162(12), pp. 735-753. Huber 10.17236/sat00280

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Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) is the acute cessation of systemic perfusion and ventilation. It leads to a lack of tissue oxygen delivery and, if not addressed quickly, will inevitably cause death. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is the only available treatment for CPA and several opportunities exist to improve the veterinary team’s resuscitation approach and optimize small animal CPR patient outcomes. In 2012, the Reassessment Campaign on Veterinary Resuscitation (RECOVER) initiative generated evidence-based clinical guidelines to form the basis for training and practice of CPR in dogs and cats. When employing an evidence-based, standardized approach to small animal CPR, return of spontaneous circulation can be achieved in up to 58% of patients and up to 7% of dogs and 19% of cats can be discharged from the veterinary hospital alive. Survival for dogs and cats that suffer CPA is best in patients that suffer a peri-anesthetic arrest, so high quality CPR in the anesthesia patient population is of utmost importance and expected to be the most rewarding. To ensure the best possible outcomes for any patient suffering from CPA and undergoing CPR, a comprehensive resuscitation strategy is necessary, that includes preventive and preparedness measures, basic life support (chest compressions and ventilation), advanced life support (optimization of the patient status by targeted drug therapy, cardiac rhythm monitoring, and defibrillation), and post-cardiac arrest critical care. This article summarizes the most important RECOVER CPR guidelines for the small animal practitioner.

Keywords: cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, cat, dog, RECOVER guidelines

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic > Intensive Care Unit, Small Animal Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > DKV - Anaesthesiology

UniBE Contributor:

Höhne, Sabrina Nathalie and Kruppert, Anne Petra


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Claudia Spadavecchia

Date Deposited:

11 Feb 2021 15:43

Last Modified:

13 Feb 2021 07:16

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