What is heatstroke in dogs
Heat stroke in dogs is a serious illness where the body temperature rises above 103 degrees F. It can result in damage to internal organs or even death. The primary causes of heatstroke are hot humid conditions. It most commonly occurs when dogs are shut inside cars on hot days.
why do dogs get heatstroke
Although dogs can sweat around their paws and nose, their primary method of cooling is by panting. When a dog is panting, it is breathing rapidly in through its nose and out through its mouth. This causes saliva in the mouth to evaporate, cooling down the tongue. As the cooler blood inside the tongue circulates, the whole body is cooled. However, on hot humid days the dog may not be able to cool itself by panting alone. The body's internal temperature rises leading to heat stress and eventually heat stroke.
Dogs with black fur, long thick fur or brachycephalic faces are particularly susceptible to heat stroke.
SYMPTOMS OF HEATSTROKE IN DOGS
There are some signs that your dog Is suffering from heat stroke. However, prevention is better than cure, and you should provide conditions for your dog to help him keep cool.
Early signs of heat stroke include:
Distress, this could include moving around trying to find a cooler, more comfortable place.
Body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit
Bright red, or blueish-purple gums
FIRST AID FOR DOGS WITH HEATSTROKE
If your dog is suffering from heat stroke you should get him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. On the way there, run your car’s air-conditioning.
It is important to get your dog’s body temperature back in the normal range as soon as possible. Use any means you have available to do this. Here are some ideas:
Run the garden hose over your dog. Before doing so, make sure that any water in the hose, that has become hot from sitting in the sun, is expelled before directing the spray on to your dog.
Put your dog in the bathtub. Stay with your dog, and make sure his head is kept above water.
Apply a cold pack to the dog’s head. You can improvise a cold pack from any bag of frozen vegetables.
If, your dog is conscious, give him a bowl of cool water.
Take your dog’s temperature every five minutes. A normal temperature for a dog is between 101 and 102.5 degrees F. Continue the cooling treatment until the dog’s temperature is within the normal range.
trip to the veterinarian
Your veterinarian will check your dog for any signs of secondary complications. During the trip you should have the car’s air conditioner on and possibly the windows open.
Prevention of heatstroke in dogs
Remember, heat stroke can be prevented.
Follow these simple rules:
Do not expose your dog to hot humid conditions. Take him for his daily walk in the coolest part of the day.
Never leave you dog in a car with the windows closed, even if the car is parked in the shade.
When travelling in the car with your dog. make sure he is in a well-ventilated, cool position.
If your dog is outside, make sure there is plenty of shade and plenty of cool drinking water.
Dogs are at higher risk of heat stroke than humans. Unlike us, they are unable to control their environment – so, we have to look out for them.