Heatstroke In Dogs
A lot of people that are new to dogs often wonder if their pets can get heat stroke. The answer is yes, they absolutely can.
Now, let’s first talk about what heat stroke is.
Heat stroke is the colloquial term for hyperthermia (not to be confused with hypothermia).
In dogs, a temperature of more than 103 degrees can indicate a problem. If the temperature exceeds 106 degrees with no other sign of sickness it most likely is a heat stroke. Just as in people, heat stroke can be deadly to a dog.
Here are a few of the main causes of heat stroke in dogs.
1. Leaving your dog in a car
It is not an uncommon thing unfortunately, people leave their pet in the car while in the store. What they don’t realize is that in a car, even if you crack the windows, the internal temperature on a warm day can increase 20 degrees every 10 minutes. A temperature of 110 degrees or more will most likely be fatal to a dog. So never leave your dog in the car.
2. Leaving your dog outside
A lot of people will move their dogs outside during the spring and summer, and while this is a good and practical idea, the temperature needs to be taken into account. On particularly warm days you should bring your dog in periodically so that they can cool down and be out of the sun for a bit.
3. Running out of water
What some people may not realize is that hyperthermia can occur for a multitude of reasons, including being in a warm area and not having enough water. So, even if your dog is inside your house, if the house is warm and your pet runs out of water for a prolonged period of time it is likely to cause heat stroke.
Now that we know a little bit about heat stroke and a little about preventing it, we need to know how to recognize it. Below is a list of things to watch for.
- Trouble breathing or excessive panting
- Extreme Drooling
- Bright red, grey, or bluish gums
- No pee
- Fast pulse
- Vomiting or dry heaving
All of these signs need to be watched for, especially on warm days. If caught early enough heat stroke can be treatable. It is also very important to note that you should always call your vet if you suspect that your dog is suffering from heat stroke.
Here are a few things you can do to help a dog suffering from heat stroke.
- Bring the dog to a cool area inside.
- Wet them with cold water (this helps to lower the dogs core temperature).
- Wet the ears and paws with cold water.
- Call your Vet immediately!