Signs of Heatstroke and How to Prevent Overheating in Dogs

signs of heatstroke by Gentle Journey

We are in the thick of the notorious Arizona summer and for local pet parents who haven’t migrated, the sweltering heat can pose serious problems for dogs. With their thick coats of fur, dogs are particularly susceptible to heat so it’s important to be aware of the signs of heatstroke. In extreme cases, recognizing the signs and knowing what to do could save your pooch’s life.

A Brief Overview
Unlike humans, dogs do not primarily use their sweat gland to keep cool. This means they rely heavily on their respiratory system to regulate body temperature. When a dog’s respiratory tract is unable to get rid of heat quickly enough, it can often result in heatstroke.

Commons Signs of Heatstroke
• Hyperventilation
• Excessive Panting
• Dry, Pale Gums
• Increased Salivation
• Confusion
• Weakness
• Diarrhea
• Vomiting

When a dog experiences heatstroke and it goes untreated, it can result in seizure, coma or even death.

Treatment Guidelines for Overheated Dogs

1.) Monitor your pooch for signs of overheating Dogs in danger of heatstroke typically exhibit a combination of the symptoms mentioned above. The moment you notice any of these signs, move your pet to a cooler area with a fan.
2.) Provide your dog cool, fresh water. Be sure plenty of cool drinking water is available, but avoiding forcing your dog to drink. Never offer ice to a dog experiencing heatstroke as it can cool body temperature too quickly shocking the system.
3.) Take your pet’s temperature. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Moderate heating usually happens at around 103 to 106 degrees, while severe heating typically occurs beyond 106 degrees. Contact your vet or the nearest emergency center and then report your dog’s temperature along with the symptoms he is exhibiting.
4.) Cool your dog with wet to towels. Soaking towels in cool water and placing them on your docks neck, armpits and hind legs can reduce body temperature. If outdoors, a pond or stream can help cool your pooch.
5.) Take your dog to your vet. If your dog seems to be suffering, call your vet. Alert them ahead of time to his condition so they can prepare for treatment. Your pet may have to receive oxygen, some fluids, and other treatments.

Prevention
Preventing heatstroke is all about common sense. When your dog is outside, make sure he has a shaded place to rest out of direct sunlight. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, cool drinking water and avoid playing too hard.

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