With the weather heating up to record highs all over the place, it’s time for dog owners everywhere to brush up on whether or not their pup is a high-risk breed, how to recognize heatstroke in dogs, steps to take to prevent overheating and what activities are best for dogs during hot weather. It’s something that isn’t talked about enough, but overheating is dangerous, as it can very quickly lead to illness and even death. In order to make sure Angus Post readers are well informed we’ve developed the Summer Dog Series. Read on to learn how to recognize symptoms of overheating in your pup, and why not being cautious of heatstroke can be dangerous for your dog. For further info on overheating in dogs, check out the other parts of this series here:
In the summer, heat-related problems can be a really big problem for dogs, and many owners are not well educated on how to recognize when their dog is in trouble. Heat stress, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke or heat prostration are four types of the same issue, just in varying degrees from least-to-most dangerous.
Heat stress symptoms: intense panting, salivation, an anxious expression, staring without seeing, failing to respond to commands, skin that is warm and dry, fever, rapid pulse, fatigue or exhaustion, muscular weakness, and physical collapse.
Heat stroke and heat prostration symptoms: warm nose and foot pads, glazed eyes, heavy panting, rapid pulse, a dark red tongue, fever, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea, immobility, and unconsciousness.
A dog’s normal temperature is 100.5-101.5 F, and having a thermometer on hand to take your dog’s temperature (usually done rectally) is good to have on at home, or even in your car/bag when you are out and about in case of emergency. Brain damage in dogs happens when the body’s temperature reaches 106-107 F, and any temperature over 106 F can result in death.
As soon as possible, take your dog to the vet, even if they seem to be feeling better, as their internal temperature may rise again, and the risk of brain damage is high. When you bring your pet to the vet, they will be monitored for shock, respiratory distress, heart abnormalities, kidney failure, and the vet will be well equipped to deal with any arising issues. Blood clotting issues are common in cases of heat stroke, so blood samples should be taken. If any of the organs such as the heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys are damaged due to heat stroke, the consequences can be irreversible and cause other health issues down the line.
During the summer, the most important thing is to be vigilant in employing the tips outlined in Summer Dog Series Part III: Top 5 Ways To Prevent Your Dog From Overheating, before your pet displays these signs of heat stroke, as once it becomes noticeable it can often be too late. Ensure you are always checking your dog for any of the above symptoms, and if they do display them, provide immediate first aid in the ways outlined in Summer Dog Series Part IV: Top 5 Ways To Cool Down An Overheating Dog. Acting quickly and efficiently may save your dog from brain damage or death.