Older Animals Need Extra Special Care

Heatstroke: Don't Let Fun In The Sun Turn Deadly For Your Dog

Heatstroke in dogs is a common occurrence in the summer months in certain parts of the country. That doesn't mean it's not a serious threat to your pup's health. It can be life-threatening, which is why you need to know how to reduce the risk, what the steps you need to take if it happens to your furry friend, and what the quickest route to your veterinarian or nearest animal hospital is.

What Is Heatstroke? 

Heatstroke is an emergency condition that occurs when a dog's internal temperature rises to dangerous levels due to outside heat. Unlike humans, dogs don't have the ability to perspire to cool down their skin. They must rely on panting, which, during very hot days. may not be enough. According to the American Kennel Club, when a dog's temperature rises above 105 degrees, which is a couple of degrees above normal, heatstroke can occur.

Heatstroke can cause neurological dysfunction and damage internal organs. The severity of these side effects will depend on how long the dog has been subject to the high temperature and how quickly action is taken to lower the dog's body temperature.

What Are the Signs of Heatstroke?   

It's important to be aware of the signs of heatstroke so you can act before your pup suffers permanent damage. Early signs include heavy panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, agitation, and a rapid heartbeat. In later stages, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle tremors, seizures, and finally unconsciousness.

How Can You Prevent and Treat Heatstroke?

One of the most common causes of heatstroke is leaving your dog in a hot car. It can also happen when you leave your pup outside in the heat of the day with little shade or shelter. You'll likely leave your dog home during hot summer days when they can't come with you, but if you leave them outside, make sure they have plenty of shade and water. Strenuous exercise can also cause overheating in hot weather. Wait until the evening when it's cooler.

When you see signs of overheating, remove the animal from the hot environment as quickly as possible. Use a hose or bucket of cool water to wet your dog's coat. Don't use ice water as cooling too quickly can restrict blood flow to extremities and slow the cooling process. Blow cool air over them and offer them water.

In addition to lowering their body temperature, it's important to take your pet to a veterinarian. They can safely cool them further as well as perform tests to identify any organ damage or long-term effects.

Contact your veterinarian to learn more. 

About Me

Older Animals Need Extra Special Care

I have always been an animal-lover, and while my family had cats when I was growing up, after I graduated from college and had my own place, I adopted my first dog. I did a lot of research on dog care before adopting him to help make sure I care for him properly and continue to research pet health tips to this day. Now that he has reached his "golden years," I realize that is is more important than ever to monitor his health. I take him to the veterinarian every year for a wellness check-up and give him a couple of health supplements. I am proud to say that he is in amazing health for his age! I want to help others learn how to care for their pets well, especially senior dogs and cats, so I decided to start a blog to share my pet care tips on!


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