While heat stroke is not a very common condition in dogs, it is still important to know what it looks like and what you should do if you suspect your dog has it. Heat stroke can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.
It's hot outside, and you want to spend time with your dog. But how do you know if it's too hot for them to be out in the sun? In this post, we'll discuss what a heatstroke is, why it happens, and what steps can be taken to prevent them. You'll also get some tips for keeping your dog safe during the summer months.
When Does A Heat Stroke Occur?
Heatstroke occurs when there is an increase in body temperature that is above normal. The normal temperature for dogs can range from 101.5 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on breed and size. Heatstroke can be fatal if not treated immediately with cool water, but it is treatable if you catch it early enough. Although, avoid using ice-cold water.
Heatstroke can occur when your dog has been outside in hot weather, has been running around excessively while you were playing with him/her or exercising at the park, or hasn't had enough water to drink today (or yesterday). If your pet doesn't like drinking plain water out of dog bowls, then try adding some flavoring, such as cucumber slices or lemon wedges, into his automatic dog feeder, which may entice him/her to drink more than usual.
Common Cases Of Heat Stroke
Most dogs won’t suffer from heat stroke. But if your dog is a high-energy breed like a Border Collie or Doberman, you should be on the lookout for signs of it. If you see any of these signs, take your pooch to the vet immediately:
Excessive panting (more than normal) or dry gums
Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)and breathing
Vomiting – Cerenia for dogs can be used to stop the outpour temporarily.
Diarrhea – This condition can be handled by using diapers for dogs or administering a prescribed dose of Metronidazole.
Accidental administering of a diuretic – If you have mistakenly given Furosemide to dogs on a hot day, it is important to react with a heat stroke prevention plan.
In modern times, all pet parents face situations when they need to gather some essentials but can’t leave their pooch alone at home. This is when you must have gotten your dog to accompany you to the market. But you can’t leave them alone in the car without ignition either. The car has a greenhouse effect in warm weather that can leave your baby gasping and overheating.
Cool Down Body Temperature
The only way to slow down body temperature is to cool the dog's skin.
Once you have assessed your dog, you can begin cooling it down. The following methods will help cool the dog's body and core temperature:
Wet towels or clothes are great at helping cool your dog's skin. If you don't have any, fill up a bathtub and submerge the dog in it for a few minutes.
Ice packs can also be used to help lower the temperature of an overheated dog as well as massage its abdomen (which helps push blood out of its extremities). This helps prevent further heat damage to organs that lie near the surface of their bodies, such as kidneys and livers.
Elevate legs above heart level, if possible. This will force blood away from them, so they're less likely to overheat due to rapid circulation through those areas during exercise or other activities that cause excessive panting/breathing rates (i.e., running).
If they are outside, move them into a cool area. Make sure they have shade and plenty of water. If you can, take their temperature and monitor their breathing until their body temperature returns to normal.
If your dog has ingested something toxic, call your veterinarian immediately.
Make Sure Dogs Have Plenty Of Water
As you may know, dogs don't sweat as humans do. Instead of sweating through their skin, they pant and use their tongue while drooling to cool themselves down. Never give too much water at once. Always offer small amounts of water and take time between each offering until the dog has been properly hydrated.
Be especially cautious if you live in a hot environment. If your pet lives in a warm climate or spends any amount of time outside where he could potentially get overheated from sun exposure, make sure he has plenty of shade and cool water available at all times.
The only way to keep your dog safe from heatstroke is by keeping them inside, in the shade, and with plenty of water. If your dog gets overheated, it's best to bring them into an air-conditioned room so it can cool down. Some pet meds may help improve the body's ability to cope with high temperatures, but these should only be used under veterinary supervision.