Heat Stroke In Dogs: Pay Attention to Signs
Have you heard of hyperthermia? That is a rise in body temperature beyond the normal range. It usually occurs due to inflammation in the body or a hot environment. When a dog is exposed to extreme elevated temperatures, he can suffer from heat stroke or heat exhaustion.
If your dog suffers from heat stroke, that is a very serious condition that requires immediate attention from a veterinarian. Once a dog’s temperature reaches 106 degrees, the body’s cellular system becomes damaged and the effects on organs may become irreversible.
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Safety Measures to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs
- Walk dogs at the coolest times of the day, first thing in the morning or after sundown in the evening.
- Carry water supply for both you and your dog. Take frequent shade stops to give your dog a change to cool down and grab a drink.
- For double coated or long-haired breeds, check with your groomer about a “summer cut.” Discuss an appropriate cut to help your pet deal with the heat. Do not shave dogs to bare skin. This can cause skin disorders or damage to your dog’s coat.
- Do NOT leave your dog in the car for even a few minutes. Cars heat up to dangerous levels in 5 minutes or less, even with windows down.. Leave your dog at home if there’s any chance you may be delayed.
Symptoms to Watch For
- Increased rectal temperature – over 104 degrees requires action; 106 degrees is an extreme emergency
- Vigorous panting
- The gums are red and dark
- Dry mucus membranes
- The dog collapses or loses consciousness
- Thick saliva
- Dizziness or disorientation
Cooling Down Dog Suffering from Heat Stroke
If you suspect heat stroke in your dog, quickly move him out of the heat and away from the sun. Begin cooling him by putting cool, wet rags and washcloths on his body, especially on the foot pads and around the head.
Do NOT use ice or very cold water…that can cause the internal temperature to rise even more. Also, over-cooling can cause hypothermia, which brings on even more problems. When your dog’s temperature reaches 103 degrees, stop the cooling measures.
Offer him cool water, but do not force any into his mouth. Call your vet or take your dog to the clinic right away. Even though your dog may appear better on the outside, internal damage may still exist.