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Heatstroke in Dogs – What Are The Symptoms?

by Antarctic Orca

Heatstroke in Dogs – What Are The Symptoms?

The next best thing apart from visiting NZ most famous museum this summer, would be a great time spent on beaches and outdoors with your best furry friend.

Your pooch would have wonderful times and always can’t wait for the next fun day out in the sun. But if you pay attention to the news, and it is now confirmed New Zealand just got its highest sea temperature ever in the history, divers are seeing colourful fish species where it should only be found in tropical areas. Not only raised temperature is found in the sea it is also happening worldwide and I am definitely a believer in global warming.

Along with raised temperature, we as pet owners should also raise the cautious level of heatstroke or hyperthermia and make sure it does not happen to your dog while having fun is just as important.

symptoms of heatstroke in dogs

  1. Excessive panting and increased heart rate
  2. Raised body temperature and went over 39°C
  3. Drooling excessively
  4. Weak, drowsy, lethargic
  5. Shivering, trembling, seizing or even went into a coma
  6. Loss of appetite, vomit and diarrhea

dogs at a higher risk for heatstroke

  1. Elder dogs
  2. Dogs are currently on certain medication
  3. Dogs are currently recovering from an injury or disease
  4. Dogs with heart or respiratory problems
  5. Brachycephalic dogs – dogs with flat face/ nose
  6. Young puppies

How to prevent heatstroke in dogs

1. Dogs could be more prone to become dehydrated in summer times, so if you have to be out in the sun for a long while, make sure you bring along sufficient amount of clean fresh water and offer it to your dog as often as possible, even if your pooch turns away a hundred times. Avoid staying in the sun open and exposed for a long time – this is not good to your dog and won’t be good to you too as you would also be at the risk of getting heatstroke.

2. Try to plan your walk or trip at the coolest time of the day – at dawn or dusk. Avoid going out there when it reaches 32°C.

3. Pay extra attention to dogs at higher risk for heatstroke.

4. NEVER! NEVER leave your dog in your vehicle in a hot summer day. It should be common sense now on how the internal space of the vehicle would just heat up like an oven. It is not hard to notice how the inside of your car is always hotter than outside when you hop into one right? This does not get much better even if you leave the windows open a bit. The airflow would not catch up with the rapidly built up heat. There are so many cases reported every summer in New Zealand and the latest decision is to fine owner who left their dog in the car alone.

4. One of the best summery treat is to go for a nice swim. Swimming could effectively cool your pooch down and most dogs just looove water! However do pay some attention to safety and you could get life vests for dogs nowadays. Swim with a leash on may be a good option for smaller dog breeds too.

5. Try to not make your dog walk on boiling hot asphalt or concrete roads. Their little paws aren’t covered in fur so direct contact to heat could hurt them and even cause burns.

6. Keep their coat nice and short. Not only it is much tidier and makes bathing easier, it also helps on reduce heat.

What do I do if my dog appears to be hyperthermia

1. Remove any clothing or collar on your dog.

2. If the situation is mild, you could try to cool down the environment first, such as transfer your dog to a shady area, put your dog in front of working fan or into an air-conditioned room. Offer some water and keep close observation.

3. If situation is rather severe, damp your dogs body using cold water or cover rinsed towel on your dog and head over to your vet emergency immediately. Do NOT use ice water – rapid cooling could lead to blood vessel contraction, something similar to stroke could happen.


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