Dog Heat Stroke

How to Treat Dog Heat Stroke

Heat Strokes and Impact on Dog's Health

Dog Cooling in Hot WeatherResults of heat strokes in dogs may be very serious. Heat stroke or hyperthermia can happen very quickly and it can lead to fatal outcome. Heat stroke may result in dog's sleepiness, weakness, collapse, coma, brain damage and death. If the body temperature is above 42 C, heart, brain, liver and kidneys fail to work.

Fortunately, heat stroke or thermal shock can be prevented. If you provide a dog with first aid at the initial stage of overheating, this impact will be reversible. After the first aid you should consult a veterinarian with further examination of your pet. That's important because heating effect may be evident later. To these disease consequences belong renal failure, heart rhythm disorder, and convulsions. Immediate treatment will minimize risks and will save dog's life. You should be careful, even if the temperature seems not very high for you, it may lead to heat stroke for a dog within a short time.

How to Determine That a Dog is in Danger of Overheating?

There's no definite answer how to determine that a dog is getting overheat. It depends on the dog and the situation. Of course, all dogs are under threat in extreme temperature conditions. A dog that is used to the temperature 20-25 C in summer will react much worse to the temperature 30-35 C, than the same dog breed that grown up in the hot southern regions and is used to such climate. It's just that very case when we don't recommend dog owners to take a pet with them to the seaside or other unusually hot for a dog places. If there's someone who can look after your pet, don't take it with you on holidays. Apart from the temperature, there are other important factors: humidity, shadow, time spent in heat, dog's activity and presence of water for drinking.

Some dog breeds, such as northern breeds (Malamute) and dogs with a short brachycephalic snout (Pug dog, Boxer, Bulldog) stand heat harder than other dogs. Puppies less than 6 months age, old and overweight dog stand high temperature worse. To high-risk group also belong pets with heart and lungs diseases. A dog who suffered thermal stress once is also in the high-risk group. Dog Overheating

How to Understand That a Dog is Hot?

The best way to see that a dog is in danger is to control its body temperature. Of course, it's not very practical and convenient in our everyday life, but if you have a suspicion of dog overheating the first thing to do is to check the dog's temperature. Heavy breathing, low activity, slow movements, digging holes in search of a colder place all this will indicate you that a dog is hot. All these symptoms mean that you should immediately assume the measures to help the dog get cold.

One of the most common reasons of dog heat strokes is leaving pets in the car for some time. Even if it's about 20 C outside, in the closed car the air may reach the temperature 45-48 C in a very short time.

Prevention of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Mostly preventive measures of heat stroke in dogs come from owner's common sense.

  1. Never leave your dog alone in the car in hot weather.
  2. If it's hot outside, keep your dog in the house. If you need to leave a dog outside, make sure that there's a shadow to hide from heat and drinking water. There should be also good air circulation. For instance, the temperature will be several C higher in a small yard surrounded by a high fence without any wind.
  3. If you walk with a dog in heat, provide it with fresh drinking water. Avoid active games in hot days. All the walks, physical exercises, and training is better to perform in early mornings or late in the evening when the air is colder than during the daytime.
    Treating Dog Heat Stroke
  4. Cold water is the best way to get a dog colder. You can use a wet towel or t-shirt to cover a dog in hot weather.
  5. It's better not to take a dog on vacation with you. Climate changes do no good for a dog.
  6. When you take a dog to the beach, it should lie in the shadow.
  7. Be extremely careful with old and sick animals.
  8. If you need to use a dog muzzle during the walk, you should remember that the muzzle doesn't let a dog open the mouth fully. If you see that the dog is breathing often and hard, it's necessary to take the muzzle off for some time.
  9. If you are in a country cottage, the best place for a dog in heat is a sandbox situated in the shadow. Sand level should be about 30 cm or more. Water this sand every morning to keep it cold. Dogs like to dig holes in the sand and hide there during the daytime.
  10. Many dogs lose appetite in heat, so it's reasonable to feed a dog once a day. We mean a grown up dog, not a puppy.
  11. A dog should have access to fresh water for drinking during the whole day. You can freeze water to keep it cold. Frozen bottles with water stay cold for a long time.
  12. Many dog owners shave their pets for summer, but it may be dangerous as it may cause a burn. Leave at least 2 cm of hair to provide skin isolation and protection from the sun. It's dangerous to shave long-haired dog breeds without underfur, as their hair isn't dense enough to protect the skin.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Fresh Water for Dogs on HeatSymptoms of dog overheating are:

  • hurried breathing,
  • salivation,
  • unseeing look,
  • slow reaction,
  • hot dry skin,
  • body temperature higher than 39 C,
  • irregular pulse,
  • tiredness, unsteady movements,
  • muscle weakness,
  • convulsions.

Symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • hot nose and feet,
  • bleary eyes,
  • hard breathing,
  • irregular rapid heart beating,
  • dark-red tongue,
  • temperature increase,
  • dizziness (coordination of movements disorder),
  • vomiting or diarrhea,
  • rigor,
  • loss of consciousness.

Brain damage starts with 41-42 C. Normally dog's temperature is 38-39 C.

First Aid and Treating Heat Stroke in Dogs

Now let's have a look at the most important point. The faster you provide your dog with the first aid, the more chances you have to save its life! That's why you need to have everything ready at hand.

First, you need to make dog's temperature lower. Take a dog to a cold place and use water to get a pet cold. Place the dog's head lower than its body. The head will get brood inflow in this position. Don't use freezing cold water in heat stroke, because it causes blood vessels compression and inner organs cannot get cold quickly, and the most important is their cooling. The best is to pour water on dog's belly and armpits, water dog's mouth and place a wet towel on the dog's head. Don't cover the whole body with the towel, this will slow the cooling process. Don't give dogs of large breeds who tend to volvulus (such as mastiff) too much water to drink, it may cause stomach disorder. The fastest way to get a dog cold is alcohol, not water, as it evaporate quickly.

If a veterinary clinic isn't far, hurry up and move to the next step of treatment. Enema with cold water will help to cool inner organs. Be careful and do not go too far in the process of cooling. You can overcool a dog. You should control the temperature all the time, the best way is to measure it rectally. When the body temperature reaches 39.5 C, you may stop treatment. Dog's temperature is 38-39 degrees normally, so your pet feels better.

Our dog accessories will help you:

Get a non-spill water bottle to let your dog drink any time in walking or travelling. Use a brush to get rid of dead fur and let dog skin breath and cool better.

Non Spill Dog Water Bowl for Travel and Walking Dog metal rake with nickel plated handle Special curved slicker brush with an unbreakable handle, UK