Be Wary of Heat Stroke in Dogs This Summer
Whenever we humans start to get too hot, sweating helps cool us off. Dogs mostly cool off by panting to absorb cooler air. Whenever the surrounding air is too warm though, panting won’t allow them to cool off efficiently enough. This can easily lead to a heat stroke in dogs.
This life-threatening condition can occur for a number of different reasons. Leaving your dog in the car on a hot day is one of the most common, even with the windows rolled slightly down. Dogs that exercise too vigorously during warmer temperatures are also susceptible. Some breeds, especially those with shorter nose, are also prone to heat strokes more easily.
It is vital that owners learn to recognize the signs of a dog heat stroke. This serious condition occurs quickly and requires immediate treatment. The most noticeable sign that your dog is having problems is excessive panting. If you take a look at your dog’s tongue, it may appear to be redder than normal.
Dogs that are having a heat stroke will likely suffer from disorientation and have trouble breathing properly. They can collapse very quickly into a coma or start having seizures. Death can occur relatively quickly if nothing is done quickly enough.
If you suspect that your dog is having a heat stroke, get him to a cooler location immediately. If the condition is still mild, then cooling off in an air-conditioned space should be enough to rectify it. A tub full of cool water or spraying him down lightly with a water hose may also do the trick.
You should have a rectal thermometer on-hand so that you can your dog’s temperature. It should be no more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is, then you will need to continue trying to cool your dog off, using ice packs if necessary.
Owners also need to be aware that heat stroke in dogs can cause internal issues. Even after the symptoms have apparently resolved, your dog may have issues within the next couple of days. Higher body temperatures can cause problems with the kidney and heart. In some cases, dogs have seizures a few hours later.
After you have cooled your dog off, make sure that he gets all the fresh water he wants. Then, call the veterinarian to have him checked out. Heat stroke in dogs is certainly nothing to play around with as it can easily be fatal if not handled correctly.