Don't lose your Dog to Heatstroke
Sunday, 1 July 2012 | Admin
How to recognise, prevent and treat Heatstroke in Dogs
Dogs cannot sweat like humans (except for a few sweat glands in their foot pads). A dog therefore regulates its internal temperature through panting and heatstroke occurs when a dog cannot expel heat quickly enough through its respiratory tract
Signs of heatstroke
These are some of the signs that your dog may be suffering from heatstroke
- Excessive panting
- Increased salivation and/or thick saliva
- Tacky or dry gums and other membranes
- Lying down and/or unwilling to get up
- Inability to concentrate or pay attention
- Increased rectal temperation (over 104 degrees requires immediate action, whilst over 106 degrees is considered a dire emergency. At these temperatures, the dog starts to suffer irreversible damage to internal systems and organs)
If action isn't taken, breathing eventually becomes slowed or absent and finally seizures and coma can occur
How to treat Heatstroke
1. Know and recognise the symptoms of heatstroke. The sooner you can respond the better the outcome.
2. Get your dog out of any sunlight and into a cooler, shaded area.
3. Apply cool water either directly or with wet towels to the stomach, inner thighs, head and footpads. Ideally use a& hose to cool your dog. Don't place a cool towel over your dog and leave it covered, as this will quickly act as an insulator, making the situation worse. Don't submerge your dog in a pool as this may cool your dog too quickly. Similarly ensure there is adequate airflow around your dog during the cooling process i.e. don't use a kennel.
4. It is important that you do NOT use Ice Cold water as this may have further negative effects. Extremely cold water can cause the blood vessels to contract, thus preventing the body from being able to cool and actually raising the body temperature further.
5. If possible, encourage your dog to slowly walk during the cooling process as this will encourage circulation of cooled blood around the body
6. Offer your dog water but don't let him drink too much at once. Small sips are ideal
7. Once your dog has started to cool, take the dog to your vet as soon as possible even if they seem fine. They will be able to advise as to whether there is any damage to internal systems.
1. Never leave your dog in a car on a warm day. Even on just a moderately warm day with the windows open a few inches, the inside of a car can quickly reach boiling temperatures.
2. Avoid excessive exercise on warm and hot days. Consider your dogs coat and the insulating effect it has. Walk your dog in the early mornings or late evenings to avoid the hottest part of the day
3. Keep a water bottle with you at all times during walks on hot days.
4. Certain types of dogs are more sensitive to heat including the short nosed breeds like Pugs. Obese dogs are also more susceptible to the affects of heat, as are older and younger dogs.