How to recognize - and treat?

How to recognize – and treat?

With the days getting warmer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to talk about heatstroke again. Do you know the signs of heat stroke in your dog? Do you know how to cool him down if he starts showing symptoms of heat stroke? What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs?

We want you to be prepared, so here are some ways to protect your dog this summer.

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke, also called hyperthermia, is a serious case of overheating. Heat stroke can cause a number of potentially fatal problems, such as dehydration, seizures, coma and cardiac arrest.

What causes heat stroke?

Heat stroke results from a dog’s inability to cool itself properly. Dogs only have sweat glands on the pads of their feet, so they pant to cool down. As you can imagine, this is only effective to a certain extent. Spending too long in the sun, sitting in a car on a hot day, not drinking enough water, and exercising too much during the hottest part of the day are all examples of things that can cause heat stroke in dogs.

Signs of heat stroke

-Excessive panting (especially when the tongue hangs out of the dog’s mouth or is bright red)

-Increased or irregular heartbeat

-Increased drool

-to trip

-Red or pale gums

-Thick, sticky saliva

-Have to lie down more

-Elevated body temperature (over 103°F is dangerous)

-Weakness

-Lack of appetite

-Dizziness

-Lethargy

-Throwing up

-Diarrhea

– epileptic attacks


Treating Heat Stroke

If your dog shows mild to moderate signs of heat strokeyou have to cool them down – but not too fast or you’ll get more trouble.

If your dog seems stable enough to begin treatment at home, here are some things you can do to lower your dog’s temperature at an appropriate rate:

-Get it in the shade and preferably in front of a fan or AC

-Leave it on an ice pack or wet towel

-Add ice cubes to his water bowl

-Fill a wading pool or bathtub with cool – not cold – water and make sure no water gets into his nose or mouth

-Apply a cold pack to his head

Once your dog’s symptoms improve, take him to the vet immediately to have him checked for serious side effects that may be due to the heat stroke but may not be visible to you yet.

If Your Dog Shows Severe Symptoms of Heat Stroke, wrap him in cool, wet towels, especially over the back of the neck, under the front legs and in the groin area, and take him to the vet immediately. It could be a matter of life or death.

How to prevent heat stroke?

Make sure your dog always has access to clean water and shade. Avoid taking them off or exercising vigorously during the hottest part of the day. If you just can’t keep your active dog indoors all day, consider trying a cooling gel dog collar to help him beat the heat or going on trails near water sources such as streams and ponds so you can dog can cool itself along the way.

Older dogs, obese dogs, dogs with flat faces or other respiratory problems, and dogs with particularly thick coats are most at risk for heat stroke.

Never leave your puppy unattended in a car. The temperature in a car on a hot day, even parked in the shade with the windows open, can rise to deadly levels faster than you might expect. In addition, a moving car with a dog in it can be stolen.

A little planning and preparation can prevent a lot of grief for you and your pup this summer.

(H/T: Mirror, Pet MD, Drs. Foster and Smith)

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